A Labour MP campaigning for Britain to remain in the EU has been recorded describing a voter as a “horrible racist”.
MP for North West Durham Pat Glass made the comment after an interview with BBC radio Derby.
Glass is believed to have been referring to a man who complained about a Polish family living in his area whom he said were on benefits, and whom he described as “spongers”. The man has denied the Labour MP’s accusation of racism.
Those campaigning for Britain to leave the EU have criticised the Labour MP’s comments, arguing that they demonstrate how Labour and the Remain Campaign are out of touch with the public’s concerns over immigration.
Steven Woolfe MEP, UKIP’s migration spokesman, has said that the incident reflects “the contempt Labour has for ordinary workers’ concerns”.
“It is in the DNA of the Labour Party. We have had Gordon Brown calling a Labour supporter a bigot, Emily Thornberry ridiculing a white van man displaying an English flag – and now this.”
Conservative MP for Erewash Maggie Throup urged Glass “to make a full apology to my constituent at the earliest opportunity” and to return to the area “to see for herself just how great a place it is to live, work and raise a family”.
Glass has since apologised:
“Concerns about immigration are entirely valid and it’s important that politicians engage with them.
“I apologise to the people living in Sawley for any offence I have caused.”