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18th Feb 2019

Labour MP quits party because it’s ‘racist’, immediately refers to ‘people who are a funny tinge’ during BBC interview

Kyle Picknell

How long did that take for them to shit the bed? A few hours?

This morning Angela Smith announced herself as one of the co-founders of the new Independent Group, a political group formed by seven rebel MPs who quit Labour.

At the announcement press conference, the MPs stood up, one after the other, and passionately highlighted the key factors in their decision to leave the party, including Jeremy Corbyn’s approach to Brexit, racism in the form of anti-Semitism within the party and the growing influence of the “hard-left”.

In fairness to Smith, managed to last – what was it? A couple of hours? Three max? – before appearing on the BBC as a representative of her new political movement and completely fucking it.

How you ask? By actually answering a question by saying the following sentence, during an interview on the subject of whether racism remains a problem in Britain: “It’s not about being black or a funny tinge-” before interrupting herself to add, “from the BAME community”.

On that evidence, Angela, I’d perhaps maybe argue that racism is a big problem in the UK, yeah. Considering you were an elected member of parliament and you are referring to BAME people as being a ‘funny tinge’. I’d say it’s a reasonably bad state of affairs to be quite honest with you.

Smith has served as representative for Penistone and Stocksbridge since 2010. In her resignation speech of the Labour whip, she cited her ‘Labour family’ and ‘working-class pride’ before going on to explain the reasoning behind her decision.

She stated that “the Labour is a party now characterised by intolerance” and “fosters division rather than unity” before concluding that she could not “in all conscience, continue to affiliate with a Labour Party that I consider unfit for government”.

As starts go, it’s a rather inauspicious one for the Independent Group.