The member for Penistone and Stocksbridge was taking part in a discussion on Politics Live about antisemitism and racism in politics, when she appeared to describe Bame people as having a “funny tinge”.
“The recent history of the party I’ve just left suggests that it’s not just about being black or a funny tin... – you know, different – from the BME community,” she said.
Her comment caused outcry online, and the politician posted a video of herself apologising just hours later.
“I have seen the clip from Politics Live,” she said. “I’m very sorry about any offence caused and I am very upset that I misspoke so badly.
“It’s not what I am. I am committed to fighting racism wherever I find it in our society.”
Ms Smith faced criticism from her fellow politicians over her remarks.
“Ah that explains why I get freckles – it’s because I’m a funny shade of funny tinge,” Sayeeda Warsi wrote on Twitter, in response to the controversy.
“Why does this new form of politics suddenly sound not so new!”
The British Asian politician is a Conservative member of the House of Lords.
Ms Smith is one of seven MPs who resigned from the Labour Party on Monday.
The parliamentarians will now sit as The Independent Group as they appeal to MPs from all parties to “leave the old tribal politics behind”.
Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie, Gavin Shuker, Mike Gapes, Ann Coffey and Chuka Umunna resigned the whip along with Ms Smith, in what is being seen as the the most significant split in British politics since the breakaway of the Social Democratic Party in the 1980s.
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