Tory MP Anne Marie Morris in second racism row in six weeks

Written by Dods staff on 10 July 2017 in Diary
Diary

A Tory Brexiteer causally used the N word - and fellow Conservatives did not react.

A Conservative MP has been recorded referring to the “real nigger in the woodpile” at a meeting of eurosceptics in central London.

Anne Marie Morris casually employed the racist term to make a point about the UK leaving the European Union without a deal.

After saying just 7% of financial services in the UK would be affected by Brexit, the MP for Newton Abbot continued: "Now I’m sure there will be many people who’ll challenge that, but my response and my request is look at the detail, it isn’t all doom and gloom.

"Now we get to the real nigger in the woodpile which is in two years what happens if there is no deal?"

Recordings of the comment suggest that other panelists, including Tory MPs Bill Cash and John Redwood, did not react to the use of the racist term. 

The phrase originated in the American deep south in the mid-19th century and was used to describe fugitive slaves who hid in piles of firewood as they fled north to Canada.

Amazingly, Morris is not the only Conservative politician to have used the phrase in recent years. In 2008, Tory peer Lord Dixon Smith uttered it in the House of Lords then immediately apologised, saying: "I left my brains behind."

After a couple of hours, Morris said: "The comment was totally unintentional. I apologise unreservedly for any offence caused."

The latest racism row comes six weeks after Morris was forced to distance herself from claims that a crisis in education in the UK is "due entirely to non-British born immigrants and their high birth rates".

That comment was made during a general election hustings event in Newton Abbott  - and the Devon Live website has reported that "the person who made that remark was Roger Kendrick, who is both Anne Marie Morris's partner and her electoral agent".

Morris is said to have told DevonLive: "I don't share the views expressed by Roger Kendrick."
 

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