Tory MP Anne Marie Morris suspended for racial slur

  • 11/07/2017

British Prime Minister Theresa May has suspended one of her Conservative Party MPs after she used racist language at an event on Brexit.

Anne Marie Morris, who campaigned to leave the European Union in the 2016 referendum, was describing her view of what could be done to ensure a good exit agreement in the two years allowed for talks.

"And then we get to the real n***** in the wood pile which is, in two years, what will happen if there is no deal," she told a group of politicians, lawyers and senior city figures.

She later apologised for any offence caused, "the comment was entirely unintentional”, she said.

On Tuesday (NZ time) Ms May said she had been shocked to hear about the comment, which she described as "completely unacceptable".

In a statement, Ms May said she immediately asked the Chief Whip to suspend the party whip.

"Language like this has absolutely no place in politics or in today's society."

Suspending the party whip means Ms Morris is excluded from the party and will sit as an independent, potentially reducing Ms May's ability to pass legislation.

Her government already relies on a smaller party after losing its majority at a June election.

Ms May did not say how long the suspension would last or if expulsion was possible.

Several MPs, both from the main opposition parties and from within the Conservatives, had called for Morris to be suspended for her use of the phrase.