'Truly disgusting': LBC presenter's comments to black panellist on TV show condemned by Labour MP

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Author Afua Hirsch debated LBC host Nick Ferrari on Sky News' The Pledge (Picture: Sky News)
Author Afua Hirsch debated LBC host Nick Ferrari on Sky News' The Pledge. (Sky News)

A Labour MP has criticised LBC presenter Nick Ferrari for asking a black panellist on a TV show why she stayed in the UK when she was so critical of the country.

Chi Onwurah, MP for Newcastle Central, described the comments, made by Ferrari to author Afua Hirsch on Sky News panel debate show The Pledge in 2018, as “truly disgusting”.

The LBC presenter was responding on the show after Hirsch hosted a segment about memorials for “problematic figures” being taken down across the world.

Hirsch re-uploaded the clip on Tuesday in the wake of the statue of slave trader Edward Colston being pulled down in Bristol during protests on Sunday.

Read more: Olympic athletes face bans if they protest at Tokyo Games

After viewing the video, Onwurah, shadow minister for digital, science and technology, tweeted: “Truly disgusting. But Afua Hirsch responds with such grace.”

In the two-minute clip, Hirsch mentions Bristol’s Colston Hall music venue and goes on to question whether the monuments of wartime prime minister Winston Churchill and imperialist Cecil Rhodes should stay up.

She added that she was not necessarily saying they should be brought down but added a debate needed to happen considering their troubled pasts.

In response, Ferrari said: “Why do you stay in this country?

“If you take such offence when you see Nelson’s Column, if you take such offence when you hear Winston Churchill’s name?

“I would argue in the unlikely event that anybody wanted to have a poll, probably 80 to 90% of people would say Winston Churchill did a good thing.

Read more: Anti-racism campaigners to target Nelson's Column next

“I’m delighted that I see you each Thursday... but if it offends you so much, how do you manage to stay here?”

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 05: Chi Onwurah, Labour Party politician and Member of Parliament for Newcastle Central delivers her speech as she attends a campaign rally at Newcastle City Hall on October 05, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. Jeremy Corbyn attended the rally of party members and supporters with other member of the shadow cabinet. During the rally Mr Corbyn announced that in the event of a General Election he would launch the biggest people-powered campaign the country has seen. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
Chi Onwurah, Labour MP for Newcastle Central. (Getty)

Hirsch posted the video on Tuesday, with the caption: “In a former life, when I thought you cd politely persuade people not to be racist

“Their response? ‘If you don't like it here, LEAVE’. Which I'm yet to hear said to a white British person

“Racism is telling black people who have a critique of their own country, they should leave.”

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