UKIP assembly member apologises for calling Chuka Umunna a "f***ing coconut"

Michelle Brown used the racial slur about the black MP during a staff phone call.

Twitter/MichelleBrown
Reuters

A UKIP Assembly Member for North Wales has apologised for using a racial slur to refer to Labour MP Chuka Umunna.

Michelle Brown called the Streatham MP a "f***ing coconut" during a phone call in May 2016 to her then senior adviser Nigel Williams.

"I don't say this lightly but Chuka Umunna is a f****** coconut," she told Williams during the recorded call.

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"He's got as much understanding of an ordinary black man's experience as I have. He is a coconut - black on the outside, white on the inside, and Barack Obama's exactly the same," she said.

After the recording was released on Friday (21 July), the UKIP assembly member apologised for her "inappropriate language."

"The point I was making is that because of his considerable wealth and privilege, Chuka Umunna cannot possibly understand the difficulties and issues that the average black person faces in this country any more than I can, and I stand by that assertion," she said in a statement.

"I do however accept that the language I used in the private conversation was inappropriate and I apologise to anyone that has been offended by it," she added.

In the same phone call, she referred to former Labour MP Tristram Hunt, who is now the director of the V&A, as a "t**t."

"As far as the language I used about Mr Hunt is concerned, it was a private conversation and I was using language that friends and colleagues often do when chatting to each other," Brown said in Friday's statement.

An assembly spokesman for the Labour Party called for Brown to be suspended for her comments.

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"This is absolutely outrageous language and lays bare the disgusting racism at the heart of UKIP. Anything less than immediate suspension would be a clear endorsement of Michelle Brown's racist slur," he said.

Neil Hamilton, UKIP's leader in the Welsh Assembly, said he did not wish to comment.

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood said: "This racism reflects poorly on our parliament - The National Assembly for Wales - and that's why her party should take action on this."

Michelle Brown also made an abusive remark about former Labour MP Tristram HuntGetty

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