Tories urged to sack MP who said no-deal Brexit was 'n****r in the woodpile'

Posted On: 
10th July 2017

The Conservatives have been urged to dump a veteran backbencher who was recorded using a racist slur to describe a no-deal Brexit scenario.

Tory MP Anne Marie Morris at Prime Minister's Questions in 2012
Parliament TV

Anne Marie Morris, the MP for Newton Abbott, said dropping out of the EU without a new agreement was a “real n****r in the woodpile” at a panel event in central London.

According to the Huffington Post, her fellow panellists, including Tory MPs Bill Cash and John Redwood, failed to react when she said the phrase.

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The phrase was common in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the US to denote something considered to be suspicious or wrong.

At the exclusive East India Club event, Ms Morris argued only 7% of financial services in the UK would be affected by Brexit.

She added: “Now I’m sure there will be many people who’ll challenge that, but my response and my request is look at the detail, it isn’t all doom and gloom.

“Now we get to the real n****r in the woodpile which is in two years what happens if there is no deal?”

As the controversy grew Ms Morris issued an apology. She said: "The comment was totally unintentional. I apologise unreservedly for any offence caused."

But Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said the Tories should kick her out. He said: “This disgusting comment belongs in the era of the Jim Crow laws and has no place in our parliament.

“The Conservative party should withdraw the whip from Anne Marie Morris and they should do it today. 

“Every hour they leave her in place, is a stain on them and the so called ‘compassionate conservatism' they supposedly espouse.

“I am utterly shocked that this person represents the good people of Newton Abbott.

“Even if she mis-spoke this is the nastiest thing I’ve heard an MP utter since Lord Dixon Smith uttered the same awful phrase a few years ago.”

Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas weighed in on Twitter calling for Ms Morris to lose the Tory whip.

A Conservative spokesman said: "We are aware of these reports, this kind of language is completely unacceptable, and we are urgently investigating."