Rupa Huq has whip suspended for ‘race’ comment

She described Kwarsi Kwarteng as “superficially Black”

Rupa Huq has had the Labour whip suspended pending an investigation into a comment she made at the Labour Party conference, according to BBC Political Correspondent Nick Eardley.

The MP for Ealing Central and Acton said in a meeting that Kwasi Kwarteng was “superficially Black”.

“Sorry if I was not making myself understood clearly” she said, “superficially he’s a Black man but again, he’s got more in common … he went to Eton I think, he went to a very expensive prep school, all the way through the top schools in the country.

“If you hear him on the Today Programme you wouldn’t even know he was Black.”

Image above: Tweet by Guido Fawkes

Update at 5.03pm  Rupa Huq apologises

Rupa Huq issued an apology to Kwarsi Kwarteng. She posted on Twitter:

‘I have today contacted Kwasi Kwarteng to offer my sincere and heartfelt apologies for the comments I made at yesterday’s Labour conference fringe meeting. My comments were ill-judged and I wholeheartedly apologise to anyone affected.’

Kate McCann, Political editor of TalkTV reported that a Labour spokesperson had earlier said withdrawing the remarks would not mean she automatically got the whip back.

“Absolutely unacceptable”

Her comment was recorded and published by right wing commentator Guido Fawkes and immediately condemned.

Ealing councillor Cllr Gregory Stafford posted:

“Absolutely unacceptable comments by Rupa Huq vocalising the view of some on the left that skin colour should determine your political views and if you don’t subscribe to their idology then you are only “superficially” black.”

As her clip is being shared on social media there are fears in the Labour Party the controversy will overshadow Keir Starmer’s speech and the announcement of several key planks of the Labour Party’s policy that strategists would have been hoping would lead the news agenda.

Image above: Chancellor Kwarsi Kwarteng

Update at 4pm – David Lammy and Angela Rayner condemn the remark

Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy told the BBC’s Politics Live programme her comments were “unfortunate” and added he hoped she could “stand those comments down.”

Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner said the remarks were “unacceptable”.

Also speaking to the BBC’s Politics Live programme, she said Ms Huq should apologise.

Rupa was speaking on Monday evening at a fringe event entitled ‘What’s Next for Labour’s Agenda on Race’.

Guido Fawkes reported she had said at first she was standing by her comments.

Conservative Party Chairman calls on Keir Starmer to condemn the comment as racist

Conservative Party chair Jake Berry called her comments racist and disgusting. He has written to Keir Starmer urging him to “join me in unequivocally condemning these comments as nothing less than racist”.

Former chancellor and Tory MP Sajid Javid said he was “appalled and saddened” by the clip adding:

“Rather than give encouragement to racists and people who seek to divide us, she should know better. Not too late for her to show that she does.”

Shaun Bailey, who ran as the Conservative candidate for hte Mayoral election in London last time round, as is Black, said:

What is so offensive, is Rupa’s assertion that Kwasi is superficially black because  he doesn’t ‘sound black’ and because he went to public school. Does that mean black can’t be well spoken or educated in the independent sector in order to be considered properly black?”

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