Rupa Huq: Suspended Labour MP apologises to Kwasi Kwarteng for 'ill-judged' comments

ITV News' Deputy Political Editor Anushka Asthana explains how the controversy played out at Labour's party conference

MP Rupa Huq has offered a "sincere" and "heartfelt" apology to Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng after describing him as “superficially” Black.

In a tweet the Labour MP for Ealing Central and Acton said: "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."

She has had the whip suspended from the Labour Party for her comments.

During an audio clip - which was published online - Dr Huq was heard discussing the chancellor's elite school background saying "you wouldn't know he is Black" when listening to him on the radio.

Kwasi Kwarteng became the UK's first Black chancellor when Liz Truss formed her new government. Credit: PA

She is believed to have made the remarks at a fringe event for the British Future and Black Equity organisations at Labour's party conference in Liverpool, on Monday.

On Wednesday's episode of Good Morning Britain, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer condemned Dr Huq's comments as racist.

The remarks were also criticised by Angela Rayner, David Lammy, and the Conservatives.

Dr Huq has now been administratively suspended from the party, meaning she has lost the party whip.

A Labour spokesperson said "we condemn" the "totally inappropriate" remarks made by Dr Huq earlier on Tuesday and called on her to apologise.

Dr Huq can be heard saying in the audio: “Superficially he is a Black man.

“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 know he is Black.”

Tory Party Chairman Jake Berry raised his “serious concerns” in a letter to Sir Keir Starmer, with the audio being published by the Guido Fawkes website shortly before his conference speech.

“I trust you will join me in unequivocally condemning these comments as nothing less than racist and that the Labour whip be withdrawn from Rupa Huq as a consequence,” he wrote.

Sharing his letter on Twitter, he demanded the Labour leader act over Dr Huq's "disgusting comments".

Shadow deputy leader Ms Rayner told BBC Politics Live: “She should apologise for those comments.

“For me those comments are completely unacceptable.

“I think Rupa needs to reflect on what she has said and she needs to take immediate action.”

Shadow foreign secretary David Lammy added: “I wouldn’t have made them myself and clearly I hope Rupa apologises and retracts them, frankly.”

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