Amber Rudd sparks race row after referring to Diane Abbott as 'coloured'

GettyAmber Rudd.
  • UK Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd referred to Labour’s Diane Abbott as a “coloured woman” on Thursday.
  • Abbott described the comment, made on Jeremy Vine’s BBC Radio 2 show, as offensive.
  • The comment came as both major parties are engulfed in separate race rows.
  • The Conservative Party suspended over a dozen members this week, while a watchdog announced it could launch an investigation into allegations of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.

LONDON – Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd has apologised after referring to the shadow home secretary, Diane Abbott, as “a coloured woman.”

Rudd made the comments on Jeremy Vine’s BBC Radio 2 show on Thursday, while talking about abuse of women in Parliament.

“It definitely is worse if you’re a woman, and it’s worst of all if you’re a coloured woman,” she said. “I know that Diane Abbott gets a huge amount of abuse, and I think that’s something we need to continue to call out.”

Abbott described the comment as offensive.

“The term ‘coloured’, is an outdated, offensive and revealing choice of words,” she tweeted.

Listen to Rudd refer to Abbott as a ‘coloured woman’^tfw

Rudd has subsequently apologised.

“Mortified at my clumsy language and sorry to @HackneyAbbott,”she tweeted. “My point stands: that no one should suffer abuse because of their race or gender.”

In the past week, both major parties in UK politics have been battling race rows.

Conservatives have faced allegations of Islamophobia and racism, with over a dozen members suspended by the party. One councillor, who was reinstated by the party, was accused of posting a racist meme about Abbott.

And on Thursday, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission announced it was looking at taking action against the Labour Party amid allegations of anti-Semitism and unlawful discrimination toward Jewish people.

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