Labour MP says Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng is ‘superficially’ black

Tory chair says Keir Starmer should suspend Rupa Huq over comments

Sam Blewett
Tuesday 27 September 2022 21:44 BST
Labour MP Rupa Huq apologises after describing Kwasi Kwarteng as 'superficially' black

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is facing calls to suspend MP Rupa Huq after she described Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng as “superficially” black.

In audio published online, Ms Huq can be heard discussing his elite school background, before adding that “you wouldn’t know he is black” when listening to him on the radio.

The comments from the MP for Ealing Central and Acton, in west London, appeared to have been made at a fringe event at the Labour conference in Liverpool on Monday.

Earlier this month, Mr Kwarteng became Britain’s first black Chancellor.

Tory party chairman Jake Berry raised his “serious concerns” in a letter to Sir Keir, 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you will join me in unequivocally condemning these comments as nothing less than racist and that the Labour whip be withdrawn from Rupa Huq as a consequence,” he wrote.

Ms Huq was said to be sitting next to Labour chairwoman Anneliese Dodds when she made the remarks.

In the audio, Ms Huq could be heard saying: “Superficially he is a black man.

Labour MP Rupa Huq (Channel 4 News/grab)

“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.”

Mr Berry said that Sunder Katwala, who was chairing the event for the British Future and Black Equity organisations, was forced to challenge her remarks.

According to the Tory MP, Mr Katwala said that the Chancellor’s Conservative views “doesn’t make him not black … and I think the Labour Party has to be really careful”.

Ms Huq and the Labour Party have been approached for comment.

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