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Angela Smith sorry for "funny tinged" skin colour remark

RACISM ROW: Labour MP Angela Smith announced her resignation during a press conference on Monday

ANGELA SMITH, one of seven MPs who resigned from the Labour Party yesterday, has apologised after she made an offensive comment during an interview on racism.

Smith, the MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, was criticised for a statement she made while talking about the extent of racism on BBC2’s Politics Live.

She said: "I would add to the argument to say that a white working class woman finds life hard enough.

"A BME [black or minority ethnic] working class woman, and this is the gender aspect, will find it even harder. But it's not just about colour, you know.

"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."

Despite an interjection from Ash Sarkar, political commentator and senior editor at Novara Media, the comment was not addressed by the show’s host, Jo Coburn, or any of the other panellists.

After the show, Sarkar tweeted about the incident, and Smith became a trending topic on the social media platform.

In a video statement published on Twitter, Smith said: “I have seen the clip from Politics Live. I’m very sorry about any offence caused and I’m 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.”

As well as Smith, Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie, Mike Gapes, Gavin Shuker and Ann Coffey all quit the Labour Party on Monday.

Berger described Labour as institutionally anti-Semitic.

THE INDEPENDENT GROUP: Labour MPs (left to right) Ann Coffey, Angela Smith, Chris Leslie, Chuka Umunna, Mike Gapes, Luciana Berger and Gavin Shuker

The MPs, who all support another EU referendum, have left the party in protest at the party’s leadership. They will sit in Parliament as the Independent Group.

Responding to the resignations, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has been embroiled in the anti-Semitism row, said: “I am disappointed that these MPs have felt unable to continue to work together for the Labour policies that inspired millions at the last election and saw us increase our vote by the largest share since 1945.”

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