The Independent Group issues its first apology five hours and 29 minutes after formation 3 months ago

The Independent Group issues its first apology five hours and 29 minutes after formation

Well, that didn't take long

On Monday morning, seven MPs officially introduced the Labour-breakaway Independent Group to the world.

Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Mike Gapes, Gavin Shuker and Ann Coffey were the parliamentary gang who announced that they had left the Labour Party, citing Jeremy Corbyn's approach to Brexit, anti-Semitism and "hard-left" policies as factors in their decision to quit.

They had probably hoped that they might enjoy some kind of honeymoon period after forming their new group.

Sadly for them, that honeymoon period lasted mere minutes, with a BBC microphone picking up someone speaking after the group's initial press conference on Monday morning. "Not going to lie, between this and Brexit we're actually fucked," the voice was heard saying.

Adding: "It's going to be so divided, the Conservatives are going to win."

That would have been considered annoying, but no biggie, especially compared to the shitstorm that following involved Labour MP Angela Smith reaching deep within her mind and pulling out the worst collection of words she possibly could have during a debate on racism in Britain.

Asked whether racism was still a problem is still a problem in the UK, she said: "It's not about being black or a funny tinge-" before interrupting herself and adding, "from the BAME community".

Understandably, this verbal diarrhoea was greeted with the sort of enthusiasm usually reserved for actual diarrhoea, meaning that Smith was forced to issue an apology just five hours and 29 minutes after the Independent Group's official formation.

In a video posted to Twitter, she said: “I’ve seen the clip from politics live, I’m very sorry about any offence caused and I’m very upset that I misspoke so badly, it’s not what I am and I’m committed to fighting racism whenever I find it in our society."