Politician Amber Rudd has been forced to apologise, after calling fellow female MP Diane Abbott a “coloured woman”.
The Work and Pensions Secretary made the “mortifying” blunder during a BBC interview today (Thursday 7 March).
Appearing on Jeremy Vine’s well respected Radio 2 show, the Tory MP for Hastings & Rye was invited to discuss the abuse female colleagues receive.
However, in a cringeworthy moment of live broadcasting, Amber said: “It’s worst of all if you’re a coloured woman. I know that Diane Abbott gets a huge amount of abuse.”
Within minutes, Diane herself had blasted the comment, tweeting: “The term ‘coloured’ is an outdated, offensive and revealing choice of words.”
The term "coloured", is an outdated, offensive and revealing choice of words.
— Diane Abbott (@HackneyAbbott) March 7, 2019
As listeners flocked to social media to express their shock at what they’d heard, Amber herself quickly apologised on her official Twitter account.
She said: “Mortified at my clumsy language and sorry to @HackneyAbbott. My point stands: that no one should suffer abuse because of their race or gender.”
But for many it was too little too late.
Mortified at my clumsy language and sorry to @HackneyAbbott. My point stands: that no one should suffer abuse because of their race or gender.
— Amber Rudd MP (@AmberRuddHR) March 7, 2019
The term coloured is associated with segregation, where black people were kept separate from white people.
It is regarded as an offensive racial slur and should no longer be used.
Social media users were quick to defend Diane, with fellow MP Danielle Rowley typing: “Amber Rudd undermining an important point about online abuse by referring to Diane Abbott as a ‘coloured woman’ on @BBCRadio2.
“She clearly gets her language from the same bygone era as her abhorrent welfare policies.”
The post was retweeted by Diane.
Amber Rudd undermining an important point about online abuse by referring to Diane Abbott as a “coloured woman” on @BBCRadio2. She clearly gets her language from the same bygone era as her abhorrent welfare policies.
— Danielle Rowley MP (@DaniRowley) March 7, 2019
Did Amber Rudd really just refer to Diane Abbott as a "coloured woman" on BBC Radio 2? pic.twitter.com/VhlSx9deCh
— Novara Media (@novaramedia) March 7, 2019
Don't believe that Amber Rudd just referred to @HackneyAbbott as a 'coloured woman' on Radio 2? Listen here for yourself. We should take no lessons from the Tory party on fighting racism: pic.twitter.com/K6TOd7ID9s
— Dave Ward (@DaveWardGS) March 7, 2019
Benedict Cumberbatch made the same, racist mistake by saying "coloured". People rightly accepted his apology, however, given that he literally hadn't deported British citizens for being black.
The same can't be said for Amber Rudd. She should resign.
— Ammar Kazmi 🇧🇴🇨🇱 (@AmmarKazmi_) March 7, 2019
Amber Rudd referred to Diane Abbott as a 'coloured woman' in interview on Jeremy Vine – pretty gobsmacking in 2019
— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) March 7, 2019
You might forgive your grandma for saying it, but cabinet Ministers in 2019 should know better than this.
Using the term "coloured" to describe anyone who is not white is offensive because it assumes being white is somehow normal or the default.
— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) March 7, 2019
Some enraged Twitter users even called for Amber to resign, and another said it was “gobsmacking”.
David Lammy, who has caused a stir this week by criticising Comic Relief and Stacey Dooley’s “white saviour complex” added: “You might forgive your grandma for saying it, but Cabinet Ministers in 2019 should know better than this.
“Using the term ‘coloured’ to describe anyone who is not white is offensive because it assumes being white is somehow normal or the default.”
Do you believe this was an honest mistake or a sign of racism in politics? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think!