Rupa Huq has Labour whip suspended after Kwasi Kwarteng comments


A Labour MP has had the party whip suspended after she was accused of making a “racist” comment by claiming that the chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, was “superficially” black.

Rupa Huq, a former shadow Home Office minister, was recorded at an event held on Monday during a fringe event as part of Labour’s annual conference in Liverpool hosted by British Future and the Black Equity Organisation and also attended by the party’s chair, Anneliese Dodds.

Huq can be heard on a short recording obtained by the Guido Fawkes website saying: “I’m sorry if I was not making myself understood clearly. He superficially is a black man.”

She said Kwarteng went to “the top schools in the country” and added: “If you hear him on the Today programme, you wouldn’t know he’s black.”

Huq faced swift pressure to apologise, with a senior Labour source calling the comments “clearly totally inappropriate” and David Lammy, the shadow foreign secretary, telling BBC’s Politics Live programme: “I think those comment are unfortunate. I wouldn’t have made them myself and clearly I hope Rupa apologises and retracts that.”

Jake Berry, the chair of the Conservative party, wrote to the Labour leader, Keir Starmer, saying he had “serious concerns” about the remarks. He called for Huq to lose the Labour whip, and added: “I trust you will join me in unequivocally condemning these comments as nothing less than racist.”

The Guardian understands Huq had the whip suspended on Tuesday afternoon.

Source: The Guardian