Former Labour MP Angela Smith, who was one of seven politicians to quit the party to set up the new Independent Group, has had a rocky start after she was forced to apologise for comments she made about the BME community.
Smith appeared on BBC’s 'Politics Live' programme along with a panel of commentators, including Novara Media's Ash Sarkar, where she discussed the new political group and racism in the UK.
Speaking about racism and the Labour party, she said: "It’s not just about colour. The recent history of the party I just left, suggests that it’s not just about being black or a funny tin-“ She cut herself off from what many online are suggesting was the word "tinge", before she smiled and continued:
You know, different from the BM – from the BME community.
Sarkar interrupted the rest of her sentence in an attempt to get clarification on what Smith said.
She queried: “A funny what?”
The MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge didn't appear to acknowledge the question at the time.
People online were furious.
Journalist Michael Segalov was one of the first people to notice: "Did Angela Smith on live BBC TV just now *actually*, when talking about BME people, say "it's not just about being black or a funny tinge"?!?!??!?!!?? jesus f***ing christ".
Comedian Nish Kumar added:
Quick note everyone. We’re not saying BAME or POC, we’re now going with “Funny tinge”. I am a proud British FT.
Following criticism online, she released a video and apologised on Twitter:
I have seen the clip on politics live. I’m very sorry about any offense caused and I am very upset I misspoke so badly.
It’s not what I am. I am committed to fighting racism wherever I find it in my society.
Many thought her apology wasn't "good enough" and remain confused about her explanation of "misspeaking".
Her appearance comes after seven Labour MPs resigned from the party, cititing Jeremy Corby's leadership, concerns over Brexit and antisemitism as reasons for their departure.
indy100 has contacted The Independent Group for comment.