Shadow Europe minister: 'Old white men are a problem' for the Remain campaign

Posted On: 
1st June 2016

A senior Labour MP has claimed that "older white men" are a "problem" for the campaign to keep Britain in the European Union.

Pat Glass accompanies Jeremy Corbyn at a pro-EU event in London
PA Images

Shadow Europe minister Pat Glass made the surprise comments while appearing alongside Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell at a Labour In For Britain event in Wolverhampton on Monday night.

According to the Express and Star newspaper, she was responding to a voter's question on how to engage people to back the Remain campaign.

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The MP for North West Durham said women and young people were "key" to a Remain victory and added: "Go and speak to your mother, your grandmother. Don't speak to your grandfather, we know the problem are older white men."

Mr McDonnell then responded: "Can I speak up for a couple of older white men? I'll let Jeremy know."

A West Midlands Regional Labour spokesman said: “It was a light-hearted comment and it was received in that way by the audience. Labour are clearly fighting for every single vote and are of course encouraging everyone to vote to remain on 23 June.

Ms Glass' apparent gaffe came just days after after she was forced to apologise for branding a voter a "horrible racist" while campaigning in Sawley, Derbyshire.

According to BBC Radio Derby, the member of the public had referred to a Polish family living in the town as “scroungers”.

Ms Glass told the station: "The very first person I come to was a horrible racist. I’m never coming back to wherever this is.”

Following criticism of her remarks, the MP said: "The comments I made were inappropriate and I regret them. Concerns about immigration are entirely valid and it’s important that politicians engage with them.

"I apologise to the people living in Sawley for any offence I have caused.”