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Labour MP Rupa Huq suspended by party after calling Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng “superficially” black

Rupa Huq MP

Labour MP Rupa Huq has said “sorry” to Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng after saying he was “superficially” black.

Ms Huq, 50, told a fringe meeting at the Labour Party conference:

“If you hear him on the Today programme, you wouldn’t know he’s black.”

The Ealing Central and Acton MP was suspended from the Labour benches.

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Meanwhile, party leader Sir Keir Starmer has started an investigation into the comments.

He described them as “racist.”

He refused to say if Ms Huq will be expelled from the party – adding the investigation “will take its course”.

He told the BBC: “It’s not for me to tell that independent process what they should do.”

Ms Huq will sit in Parliament as an independent.

She was recorded making the comments during a fringe event called “What’s Next for Labour’s Agenda on Race”.

During a Q&A session, she said:

“He [Kwarteng] is superficially, he’s, a black man but again he’s got more in common… he went to Eton, he went to a very expensive prep school, all the way through top schools in the country.

“If you hear him on the Today programme you wouldn’t know he’s black.”

Following the recording being publish by a political website, Ms Huq tweeted:

“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.”

Kwasi Kwarteng became the first black Conservative cabinet minister in 2021, when he was made business secretary.

Mr Kwarteng, who became chancellor earlier this month, was born in east London and has Ghanaian heritage.

 

 

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