Tory MP suspended after using N-word in Brexit talk
BRITISH Prime Minister Theresa May has suspended a Tory MP over racist language after she used the N-word at an event on the implications of Brexit on the financial sector.
Anne Marie Morris, who campaigned to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum, was describing her view of what could be done to ensure a good exit agreement in the two years allowed for talks.
"And then we get to the real n****r in the wood pile which is, in two years, what will happen if there is no deal," she told a gathering of politicians, lawyers and senior city figures.
The phrase came to be used to describe something unexpected and wrong but is now generally viewed as racist.
Ms Morris said later she apologised unreservedly for any offence caused. "The comment was entirely unintentional."
The British prime minister said she had been shocked to hear about the comment, which she described as "completely unacceptable".
"I immediately asked the Chief Whip to suspend the party whip," Mrs May said in a statement. "Language like this has absolutely no place in politics or in today's society."
Suspending the party whip means Ms Morris is excluded from the party and will sit as an independent, potentially reducing Mrs May's ability to pass legislation. The prime minister is already reliant on a deal with the Democratic Unionists.
Ms Morris can still choose to vote in line with the government, and is likely to continue to do so.
Labour's national campaign co-ordinator Andrew Gwynne said Ms Morris's comments were "outrageous and totally unacceptable".
"While the Conservative Party has tabled a debate on Wednesday to apparently discuss and condemn abuse of candidates in the general election, these comments prove their hypocrisy," he said
Outgoing Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said: "This disgusting comment belongs in the era of the Jim Crow laws and has no place in our Parliament.
"I am utterly shocked that this person represents the good people of Newton Abbot.
"Even if she mis-spoke this is the nastiest thing I've heard an MP utter since Lord Dixon Smith uttered the same awful phrase a few years ago."
Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas tweeted: "Appalling."