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Tory MPs urge Jeremy Corbyn to remove whip from Emma Dent Coad over 'ghetto boy' remark

Emilio Casalicchio

2 min read

A pair of prominent Conservative MPs have urged Jeremy Corbyn to dump Emma Dent Coad from Labour after it emerged she described a black election candidate as a "token ghetto boy".

Kensington MP Ms Dent Coad used the term in a blog post she wrote in 2010 about Shaun Bailey, who was seen as a rising star under David Cameron's leadership.

Tories Kemi Badenoch and James Cleverly have today written to Labour leader Mr Corbyn arguing the comments were “unacceptable in any circumstance”.

“Your silence is disappointing because it gives the impression that you are comfortable with the comments Ms Dent Coad made,” they wrote.

“It is concerning because it reinforces our belief that there are too many people in the Labour party who see Conservatives from BAME backgrounds as 'traitors' and, therefore, legitimate targets for abuse.”

They called for a party investigation into the comments by Ms Dent Coad and suggested he withdraw the whip while the probe is ongoing.

In separate comments on Twitter, Ms Badenoch said: “Emma Dent Coad’s comments were profoundly distressing, and a toxic reminder of the struggle black people face daily in defeating stereotypes…

“The tragedy is that someone who holds these views is an MP, representing a sizeable black population, make no mistake, this is racism.”

This morning Ms Dent Coad apologised for her comments and said she had been quoting "an Afro-Caribbean" constituent in her blog.

The 2010 post read: "It must be said that his constant stigmatisation of the area he was born in as a 'ghetto' has not exactly endeared him to his former neighbours, one of whom calls him 'a free-loading scumbag', another 'the most hated man in North Kensington'.”

It added: “One day he is the 'token ghetto boy' standing behind D Cameron, the next 'looking interested' beside G Osborne. Ever felt used?"

A spokesperson for Jeremy Corbyn said: "Jeremy is opposed to all offensive language and believes we should treat each other with respect. Emma Dent Coad has rightly apologised to Shaun Bailey for her use of language."

But Mr Cleverly hit back on Twitter, branding the Labour leader "weak beyond belief".

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