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Plumber who was given £75,000 by Hugh Grant at centre of race-row

Hugh Grant has handed James Anderson thousands over the years for his Depher organisation credit:Bang Showbiz
Hugh Grant has handed James Anderson thousands over the years for his Depher organisation credit:Bang Showbiz

A charitable plumber who had been handed £75,000 by Hugh Grant has apologised for sharing an image deemed racist.

James Anderson, 56, set up Depher – which stands for Disabled and Elderly, Plumbing and Heating Emergency Response, in 2017 and over the years has received a total of £75,000 in donations from 'Love Actually' star Hugh Grant, 63,

However, during the 2016 Brexit campaign, James had shared an image of a golly - a doll-like character with jet-black skin once popular in children's books in the 1960s but has since been deemed by some to be a symbol of racial insensitivity - but after an anti-racism blog complained about the post, he has now apoloigised and insisted he was unaware of the modern-day connotations associated with the cartoon.

He told The Independent: "When I grew up as a child, it was on the jam jar.So I didn’t really understand what that meant. But obviously, I do now, after the fact. I’ve got nothing to hide. I’ve apologised for being an idiot on social media. I’ve made mistakes. It doesn’t make me a racist – I hate racism."

James was then asked whether he agrees with the sentiment associated with sentiment of All Lives Matter slogan - which was created in response to the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020 - and went on to insist that he will "stick up" for anyone, regardless of any immutable characteristic.

He said: " (Depher) never ever ever turn anyone away because of colour, or ethnicity, or because of race, because we’re not that type of company.

"I made a mistake. They just need to accept that mistake and move on.

"Every single life matters on this planet.

"Doesn’t matter whether you’re black, brown, you’re left, right, centre or upside down – I will stick up for you because your life matters.

"Black lives matter because they’ve had it so bad in the past. The things that have happened (to black people) in the past are absolutely disgusting. And the people who have done that should apologise."