Labour MP Rupa Huq suspended after calling Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng ‘superficially’ black

Labour MP Rupa Huq has been suspended by the Labour party after she described Kwasi Kwarteng as “superficially” black.

In audio published online, Ms Huq can be heard discussing the Chancellor’s private school background, before adding that “you wouldn’t know he is black” when listening to him on the radio.

The comments from the Ealing Central and Acton MP were made at a fringe event at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool on Monday.

A Labour party spokesman confirmed she had had the whip removed on Tuesday afternoon.

The spokesman said: “We obviously condemn the remarks she made, they are totally inappropriate and we would call on her to apologise and withdraw them.”

The MP later apologised to Mr Kwarteng for the comments, which she said were “ill-judged”.

“I have today contacted Kwasi Kwarteng to offer my sincere and heartfelt apologies for the comments I made at yesterday’s Labour conference fringe meeting,” she tweeted.

“My comments were ill-judged and I wholeheartedly apologise to anyone affected.”

Earlier this month, Mr Kwarteng became Britain’s first black Chancellor.

Tory party chairman Jake Berry raised his “serious concerns” about the remarks in a letter to Sir Keir Starmer.

“I trust you will join me in unequivocally condemning these comments as nothing less than racist and that the Labour whip be withdrawn from Rupa Huq as a consequence,” he wrote.

Ms Huq was said to be sitting next to Labour chairwoman Anneliese Dodds when she made the remarks.

Ms Huq could be heard saying about the Chancellor: “Superficially he is a black man.

“He went to Eton, I think, he went to a very expensive prep school, all the way through, the top schools in the country.

“If you hear him on the Today programme, you wouldn’t know he is black.”

Mr Berry said that Sunder Katwala, who was chairing the event for the British Future and Black Equity organisations, was forced to challenge her remarks.

According to the Tory MP, Mr Katwala said that the Chancellor’s Conservative views “doesn’t make him not black … and I think the Labour Party has to be really careful”.

Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy told the BBC he would not have made the comments describing them as “unfortunate”.

He said he hoped Ms Huq would “stand those comments done”.

Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner also called for Ms Huq to apologise for the remarks.