Elements in the Tory party appear to be closing ranks to protect Anne Marie Morris and their slim majority in Parliament amid the scandal over her racist remarks.

Morris used the phrase “n****r in a woodpile” as she delivered a speech to a meeting of Brexiteers while sat alongside two more Tory MPs, the Huffington Post revealed yesterday.

The Newton Abbot MP was suspended as a Tory MP last night and is now sitting as an independent.

Morris apologised “for any offence caused” by the remark and said it was “completely unintentional.”

There were calls for her to step down from Parliament, but one Tory MP who spoke to the Times last night certainly wasn’t going to let principle get in the way, saying: “We don’t want a by-election, we don’t want a by-election. A by-election if she had died might be OK but not for sounding like a racist.”

Now the chair of the Newton Abbot Conservative association has come to Morris’ defence.

Speaking to World at One, Tory councillor Sylvia Russell said she didn’t want to lose “such a good MP.”

Asked if she was ashamed of what Morris had said, Russell replied:

“It’s very disappointing that Anne Marie finds herself in this situation for an unintentional comment that I’m quite sure she never intended to make. 

“She’s served as our MP for the last 8 years, she’s never put a foot wrong and she increased her majority substantially at the last election.”

Asked if she agreed that Morris should have been suspended as a Tory MP, she said: 

“Well, that was Theresa May’s decision and I’m sure any suspension will be proportionate to what is involved. We don’t want to lose the capabilities of such a good MP in Parliament as Anne Marie has proved herself over the last 8 years.” 

 Asked what would be a fair punishment, Russell said: 

“That’s not for me to say, it’s up to the Prime Minister. But I think all fair minded people will know that Anne Marie has put apologised unreservedly over this and I hope that people will accept that.” 

Asked why Morris would use such a phrase if she wasn’t a racist, she added:

I believe she was looking for a metaphore to illustrate her point about Brexit. Sometimes whe  you’re standing on your feet and you’re speaking without a script things come out that shouldn’t come out. Anne Marie is mortified I would think that people would consider that she might be a racist. She’s not. I’ve known her for many years and she hasn’t got a racist thought in her head. 

Morris’ most notable contribution to Parliament in her seven years so far was ranting and raving at PMQs five years ago:

We suspect her constituents wouldn’t miss her as much as the Tory whips…

  1. There is a thinking backdrop that motivates these people. They are racist and the rest, it is in their nature.

  2. Stephen Taylor says:

    Her racism is obviously deep seated and subconscious. I doubt if that phrase has been considered offensive during her entire life and her only regret, that of the Tory party too, is that it has been exposed.

  3. I would like to point out that During her Campaign she had to Distance herself from her Campaign Agent (And life partner) because he got caught saying Racist things at a Hustings.

    Maybe there is a problem when people with bigoted views get together with like minded people, No one challenges either of their words when at home.

  4. Phillip Dudd says:

    If she wants to defend it mitigation is what she needs, racism is illegal especially in public, and as the public are present in parliament, this was a broken law, if this happens in public people are arrested and either fined or fined and imprisoned, as the Tory mandate is against hate speech, and racism and inciting riot, at this sensitive time regards imigrants and ethnicity, this is out of order. Is there some sort of tolerance because the Tory’s are in cahoots with the DUP who also use racist derogatory language, can this be put down to simple bigotry, as if that’s even ok, this was in the public eye, and so is the reprimand and punishment, no matter what a person’s position in a work place this is automatic dissmisal and then the CPS can bring offence if an indevidul or group don’t bring private prosecution, I cannot believe she has not been arrested even for her own safety or that of others, I know this is protection, from self intended threat, but apply it to its implacations.

  5. https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=DCfEhieX8F0C&pg=PT264

    Anne Marie Morris is suspended, will vote with the DUP/UDA/Cons as an Independent, and will return to the Party in due course. But this is a sea change, it is not long ago that overt racism was encouraged by the Conservative Party, now it leads to a light slap on the wrist.

    The phrase refers to an African American hiding in your woodpile, you have not noticed him but you will when your wife gives birth to a baby with dark skin. Is this not an extreme racist remark?

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