Labour MP Rupa Huq outside her home in London after she was suspended by the party on Tuesday for describing Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng as "superficially" black. (Photo: James Manning via PA Wire/PA Images)
Keir Starmer has condemned Labour MP Rupa Huq after she claimed Kwasi Kwarteng was “superficially” black.
The Labour leader said the comments were “racist” and he was pleased she had lost the party whip.
Huq, the MP for Ealing and Acton, made the remarks at a fringe meeting titled ‘What’s next for Labour’s agenda on race?’ at the Labour party conference in Liverpool.
In an audio recording of the event, Huq can be heard saying of Kwarteng: “Superficially he is a black man.”
She added: “He went to Eton I think he went to a very expensive prep school... if you hear him on the Today programme you wouldn’t know he is black.”
Shortly after her comments emerged, Labour announced that Huq had been suspended and lost the party whip in parliament.
Asked for his reaction to the row this morning, Starmer said: “What she said was wrong, it was racist and I’m very pleased that the Labour party acted as swiftly as it did.”
Speaking last night, Huq said: “I have today contacted Kwasi Kwarteng to offer my sincere and heartfelt apologies for the comments I made at yesterday’s Labour conference fringe meeting.
“My comments were ill-judged and I wholeheartedly apologise to anyone affected.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.