Vince Cable branded 'offensive' and 'disrespectful' for 'white faces' comment

Posted On: 
12th March 2018

Vince Cable has come under fire from Conservative MPs for saying that the Brexit vote was driven by nostalgia for a period where 'faces were white'.

Vince Cable made the comments during an address to party members in Southport.
Credit: 
PA Images

Addressing the Liberal Democrat conference he accused the 70% of over-65s who voted to leave the European Union of crushing the "hopes and dreams" of younger generations, and said that many had been motivated by nostalgia.

“Too many were driven by a nostalgia for a world where passports were blue, faces were white, and the map was coloured imperial pink,” he told delegates in Southport.

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“Their votes on one wet day in June, crushing the hopes and aspiration of the young for years to come." 

But the Lib Dem's comments have prompted a backlash from senior Conservative politicians.

Tory party chairman Brandon Lewis branded the remarks "rude" and "offensive".

"Unbelievable, rude, offensive to many & indicates a disdain for voters from Lib Dems & Vince Cable (an apology owed to millions of people)," he tweeted.

Housing Secretary Sajid Javid accused him of trying to "tear apart" the country with his remarks.

"Vince Cable so wrong and disrespectful. Should be trying to bring country together, not seeking to tear it apart".

Tory backbencher Andrew Rosindell urged the LibDem leader to apologise.

"Sir Vince Cable should apologise for his remarks, he has just insulted the very people who gave us the nation we have today, a free and prosperous society, a country with a proud history as well as an exciting future."

Conservative MEP and arch-Brexiteer Daniel Hannan said the comments were "unfair and unwise".

"Calling 17.4 million people racists is unfair and unwise. The real nostalgia here is Vince Cable's bizarre attachment to the 1950s vision of a federal Europe. There's a whole world out there, Vince."

Mr Cable went on to brand the idea of a Global Britain signing lots of new trade deals a "fraud".

“Far from opening our arms to the world, we will be tearing up preferential trade deals we already have with 27 countries in the EU and 74 outside it,” he added.

The Lib Dem leader also blasted Jeremy Corbyn, who he said has let down the working class voters Labour are supposed to represent with a confused Brexit stance.

“You cannot speak up for the poor and be complicit in making the country poorer," he said.

“You cannot claim to love the NHS knowing that Brexit will starve it of cash.

“You cannot be an advocate of strong rights at work, and stand by while your country walks away from the organisation which has most stood up for workers.

“The Labour party has imported into politics the principles of quantum physics where an object can be there and not there, at the same time.

“They believe you can be for Brexit it and against it. But politics is not physics. Jeremy –The time has come to decide.”