A UK MP who quit the Labour Party over alleged racism, has been caught on live TV appearing to refer to people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds as having a “funny tinge,” prompting widespread ridicule.
Angela Smith, MP for Penistone and Stockbridge has become involved in a racism row on her very first day as a member of the newly-formed ‘The Independent Group.’ Smith was appearing as a guest on the BBC’s Politics Live show, to discuss her resignation and, ironically, the scale of racism in the UK.
The recent history of the party I’ve just left suggests that it’s not just about being black or a funny tinge, you know, different, from the BAME community.
Fellow guest Ash Sarkar, Novara Media’s political commentator, looking slightly perplexed, interjected: “A funny what?” The BBC’s presenter, Jo Coburn did not pick up on Smith’s comment.
The remarks initiated much condemnation on social media as well as parody memes and videos mocking Smith’s choice of language, with many accusing the former Labour MP of casual racism.
Funny tinge you say…? Bless you @angelasmithmp you didn’t even have 24 hours of defection under your belt ??? #FunnyTinge pic.twitter.com/PdoSArQhSA
— Guz Khan (@GuzKhanOfficial) February 18, 2019
@PoliticsJOE_UK I know where I’ve seen this! #LabourSplit #AngelaSmith #FunnyTinge pic.twitter.com/4KZJp7scDm
— Luke Brews (@merlinsmule) February 18, 2019
Angela Smith’s favourite album: Fear of a #FunnyTinge planet. pic.twitter.com/XeEVmuR1YI
— EL4C? (@EL4JC) February 18, 2019
Of course she’s not racist. Some of her best friends are a funny tinge.
— Aditya Chakrabortty (@chakrabortty) February 18, 2019
Oh my days. pic.twitter.com/7Q0dHpf0A8
— Evolve Politics (@evolvepolitics) February 18, 2019
Not the greatest of starts for Smith as an independent MP, who issued an apologetic video via her Twitter account, just hours later, in which she claimed she had misspoken badly and was sorry for any offence that she may have caused.
I’m really sorry that I misspoke earlier on Politics Live – here’s my statement. pic.twitter.com/7csM95TFLo
— Angela Smith MP (@angelasmithmp) February 18, 2019
On Monday, Smith was one of seven Blairite Labour MPs to quit the party and formed The Independent Group.
In her resignation speech she highlighted anti-Semitism as one of the main reasons for leaving Labour, an issue, she claimed, was not being taken seriously enough by leader Jeremy Corbyn.
The new grouping of Independent politicians headed by prominent ‘People’s Vote’ advocate, Chuka Umunna, have appealed to all MPs, not just Labour, to join their group, as the current parties are ‘part of the problem, not the solution.’