The deputy mayor of London has been caught on film using an offensive ethnic slur. Speaking during a recent committee meeting, Richard Barnes — a high profile member of the London Assembly and top Boris Johnson appointee — likened concerns around the cost of high speed rail upgrades to work practices of “Irish builders”:
“Does that include the cost of the full rebuild of Euston station that you’re talking about now, or is that going to be in addition as well? Or are they like most Irish builders, saying that it’s going to be ‘roughly that’.”
While making the comment, Barnes licked his finger and held it in the air, indicating that costs might change with the direction of the wind. Astonishingly, Barnes’ portfolio includes a key “equality and diversity” role.
He would do well to remember the thousands of Irish migrants who risked their lives constructing Britain’s railway system.