Tory MP Suspended After Making Racist Remark


At an East India Club event in London yesterday, Anne Marie Morris, the Conservative MP for Newton Abbot, casually used the N-word during a discussion of Brexit, which led to the eventual removal of her party whip.

While taking part in a public panel along with other Pro-Brexit Conservative MPs, Sir William Cash and John Redwood, Morris used the offensive language while talking about the possibility of having no Brexit deal after the two years of negotiations.

The Huffington Post recorded and released the footage, in which Morris told the event, “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 n...... in the woodpile, which is, in two years what happens if there is no deal?”

The phrase used by Morris is an American Deep South figure of speech dating back to before the Civil War and was popular during the Jim Crow Era. It is used as a metaphor for a hidden or suspicious problem or fact, and refers to the possibility of a runaway slave hiding in a woodpile to escape to freedom.

After the recording was released, there was immediate outrage from across the political spectrum, with most calling for the suspension of Morris from the Conservative Party.

The outgoing leader of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron, said, “This disgusting comment belongs in the era of the Jim Crow laws and has no place in our parliament,” and called on the Conservative Party to suspend Morris that day.

The co-leader of the Green Party, Caroline Lucas, also called for the suspension of Morris, saying there is “no place in our politics for racism,” and later took her condemnation a step further with a call for Morris to resign, and told Sky News, “There is no place for her in the House of Commons.”

Fellow Conservative MPs also criticized Morris’s comments. MP Heidi Allen tweeted that an apology was not good enough and that there can be zero tolerance for racism. MP Helen Grant echoed Allen’s sentiments and tweeted that she was “so ashamed.”

Later in the day, the Conservative Party did suspend Morris from the party. While announcing the suspension, Theresa May said that she was shocked by the language, and that she immediately asked for the removal of Morris’s whip when she heard what had happened.

May added in a statement, “Language like this has absolutely no place in politics or in today's society.”

Abigail Kass