Lord Kilclooney says he referred to Kamala Harris as “the Indian” as he didn’t know her name 1 year ago

Lord Kilclooney says he referred to Kamala Harris as “the Indian” as he didn’t know her name

John Taylor said he has withdrawn the reference as it “seems to have upset some people”

A former Deputy Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) has withdrawn his reference to US vice-president elect Kamala Harris as “the Indian” after he said it “seems to have upset some people”.

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John Taylor, who serves as a member of the House of Lords as John Kilclooney, posted on Twitter on Monday morning, saying: “What happens if Biden moves on and the Indian becomes President. Who then becomes Vice President?”

Taylor’s tweet was widely condemned on Monday, with Norman Fowler, Lord Speaker of the House of Lords, amongst those who called on him to apologise.

A subsequent tweet by Taylor on Monday afternoon did not include an apology, rather a withdrawal of the reference to Harris as an Indian.

It is not the first time Taylor has courted controversy for his use of the term ‘Indian’, having referred to current Irish Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and then Taoiseach Leo Varadkar as “the Indian” in a conversation on Twitter in 2017.

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Taylor defended himself at the time, saying that he is “no way racist” and accepted that Varadkar is “100 percent [an] Irish citizen”.

Kamala Harris was born in California in 1964 to parents of Indian and Jamaican descent.

As part of the Biden administration, she will become the first Asian American, African American and female vice-president, as well as the highest ranking elected female official in the history of the United States.