Ann Widdecombe refuses to apologise over race row WhatsApp message

·Freelance Writer
Ann Widdecombe used the word 'golliwog' in a WhatsApp group (Getty/SWNS)
Ann Widdecombe used the word 'golliwog' in a WhatsApp group (Getty/SWNS)

Brexit Party hopeful Ann Widdecombe has refused to apologise after a leaked WhatsApp message from her sparked a race row.

Ms Widdecombe, who is standing in Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport at the General Election, used the word ‘golliwog’ in a private message group with activists.

Commenting on party funding being diverted from her seat, she wrote: “Yes, I threw all my toys of the pram. Bears and gollywogs [sic] flying everywhere!!”

Ann Widdecombe, Brexit Party member, is interviewed after Nigel Farage, Leader of Britain's Brexit Party, spoke on stage at the launch of their policies for the General Election campaign, in London, Friday, Nov. 22, 2019. Britain goes to the polls on Dec. 12. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Ms Widdecombe is standing in Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport at the general election (AP)

The former Tory minister rejected calls to apologise for the use of the word when approached by the Plymouth Herald.

She told the newspaper: “It’s very straightforward — I was talking about throwing my toys out of my pram.

“Seventy years ago, what toys did you find in a child’s pram? Right — there you go.

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“It’s a word, referring to a toy — a toy.”

Pushed on whether she would apologise, Ms Widdecombe added: “No, I am not apologising. I am not apologising, seriously.”

The Plymouth Herald quoted an unnamed Brexit Party insider as saying that the party had “become a vehicle for the far right”.

When do we find out the result?

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