Brent Central MP Dawn Butler: ‘My comments about black Tory MP were misrepresented’
PUBLISHED: 16:34 20 January 2016 | UPDATED: 16:40 20 January 2016
Brent Central MP Dawn Butler claims she has been “misrepresented” after reportedly saying a black Tory MP does not like talking to other black people.
The Labour politician told the Times she was making a point about Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) representation in politics when she is said to have made the claim about Spelthorne MP Kwasi Kwarteng. But she says her message was “misrepresented”. She did not comment further on the issue before the Times went to press, despite repeated efforts to contact the MP.
Accusing the Tories of “window dressing,” she is recorded as telling a Fabians conference on Saturday: “The Tories are making a conscious effort to put women or African-Caribbean and Asian people into safe seats so they get represented [but] they don’t represent those people in Parliament.”
She then added: “There’s one black Tory MP in particular. I won’t mention his name. Ok, Kwasi... really doesn’t like talking to black people in case somebody realises he is black.” Reacting to her comments, Mr Kwarteng told The Telegraph: “Her remarks are infantile and show her ignorance and exclusively race-based approach to politics.” The accusation sparked a social media storm on Sunday – Ms Butler’s second in a week, after she wrote a stinging, and sweary, assessment of David Cameron on Twitter.
It was also revealed last week that Ms Butler has accused deputy speaker Elaine Laing of “unconscious racial bias” based on the way she chooses which MPs are to give speeches in the House of Commons. It comes after Ms Laing criticised Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq for leaving the chamber too soon after making a speech.