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Labour urge The Sun to remove 'plainly racist' article

PICTURED: Labour MP Kate Osamor

THE LABOUR party has urged The Sun to take down an article in which columnist Rod Liddle said MP Kate Osamor and her mother had only been successful in politics because they were black.

Kate, the Labour and Co-op MP for Edmonton, was until recently the shadow international development secretary. Her mother, Martha, was made a life peer in the House of Lords on Tuesday.

In the column, which remains on The Sun website, Liddle wrote: “Then there’s Grandma Osamor, Kate’s mother Martha. Now ennobled as Baroness Osamor of Tottenham and taking her seat in the House of Lords at your expense.

“A supporter of Labour activists suspended over anti-Semitism.

“And once considered too left-wing even for the Labour Party, until Corbyn came along.

“What a great parenting job both she and her daughter have done.

“And do you suppose that either would be in the ­positions they are now were it not for the colour of their skin?”

Kate Osamor, who resigned from her role as shadow international development secretary last Saturday, has faced criticism of her handling of her son’s drug conviction.

She continued to employ her son, Ishmael, to work in her office after he was convicted of a drug offence and said that she was not aware of the conviction until after sentencing but has been revealed as one of the authors of a letter written to the judge before sentencing was completed.

A spokesman for the Labour party told The Huffington Post: “This column by Rod Liddle, printed on page 13 of The Sun today, is plainly racist. The Sun must immediately retract this article, apologise and explain how this was ever allowed to be published.

“The editor should also explain why they continue to publish columns by Rod Liddle who has a track record of publishing racist bile.”

On Twitter, politicians, journalists and members of the public all expressed their outrage at Liddle’s comments.

Labour MP Marsha de Cordova tweeted: “This is disgusting. Kate and Martha are both incredible people - who have got to where they are in spite of the racism they have faced.

Not that I expect better, but shame on The Sun for publishing this pathetic racist's column.”

David Lammy said: “Can somebody please help Rod Liddle understand that although melanin is an important pigment, I don't think it has a role on the appointments committee of the House of Lords?”

The Daily Mirror’s associate editor Kevin Maguire said: “Vile racism from Rod Liddle. A Black journalist wouldn’t be given a pulpit to spout this bigotry against others. Do thy only let him do it because of the colour of his skin?”

Labour and Co-op London Assembly member Jeanette Arnold said: “Thankfully sensible individuals will not be influenced by the words of this 'commentator' and I'm fully behind Labour calls for The Sun to retract ‘racist’ Kate Osamor comments.”

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