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!!”
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”.