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10 November 2020 04:32

Nigella Lawson BBC Two Fish finger

Lord Kilclooney has denied being racist when he described US vice president-elect Kamala Harris as "the Indian". The former Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) deputy leader, also known as John Taylor, was ordered to apologise and retract his tweet about Ms Harris, who is the first black and Asian-American person elected to the role. Whilst Biden is proud to be Irish and Harris is rightly proud of her Indian background I certainly withdraw my reference to her as an Indian as it seems to have upset some people. He added: "Whilst Biden is proud to be Irish and Harris is rightly proud of her Indian background I certainly withdraw my reference to her as an Indian as it seems to have upset some people. Speaking to the PA news agency, Lord Kilclooney added: "The first thing is to get it in perspective.

I'm a member of the British India all-party group, I have two Indians (tenants) in my flats here in London and there's nothing racist in it whatsoever. Northern Ireland's First Minister Arlene Foster said identifying a person by their race was "offensive", adding that the peer should apologise. She said in a tweet: "I'm in the business of making Northern Ireland a place where everyone feels at home. Lord Kilclooney deleted a tweet in 2018 which described then-Irish premier Leo Varadkar as a "typical Indian". The Lord Speaker, Lord Fowler, said Lord Kilclooney "should retract and apologise" for his latest post after senior politicians said they would lodge complaints.

UK Labour Party MPs and peers have criticised a "despicable" tweet by former Northern Irish MP Lord Kilclooney that referred to new Vice-President-elect of the United States Kamala Harris as "the Indian". Asking what would occur if new President-elect Joe Biden needed replacing, Kilclooney tweeted: "What happens if Biden moves on and the Indian becomes President. The comment posted by John Taylor, Baron Kilclooney, who was deputy leader of the Ulster Unionist Party from 1995 to 2001, has been widely criticised as racist – including by the leader of the Labour Lords. Leader of the opposition in the upper chamber Angela Smith, Baroness Smith of Basildon, quote-tweeted Kilclooney, adding the comment: "Just despicable and beneath contempt." Smith added: "I am so angry about this comment… I will be making an official complaint to both the Commissioner for Standards and the Lords Speaker." Shadow Justice Secretary David Lammy said: "She is called Kamala Harris. Shadow minister Wes Streeting said "action must be taken" over the tweet, adding: "This sort of racism would be unacceptable from anyone, but from a member of the House of Lords it beggars belief." Lord Speaker Lord Fowler has told Kilclooney to "retract" his "offensive" comment about Harris and "apologise", warning: "The comment is entirely unacceptable and has no place in British politics.

Approached about the tweet by the Evening Standard, Kilclooney said: "Biden refers to himself as being Irish. Kilclooney has since tweeted: "Whilst Biden is proud to be Irish and Harris is rightly proud of her Indian background I certainly withdraw my reference to her as an Indian as it seems to have upset some people." Claiming that he had "never heard of her until three days ago", he added: "I did not know her name and identified her with the term Indian. The life peer was accused of racism in 2018 when he referred to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, then the head of the government in Ireland, as a "typical Indian". Lord Kilclooney has been accused of racism for describing US vice president-elect Kamala Harris solely as "the Indian". The former Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) deputy leader, John Taylor, was ordered to apologise and retract his tweet about Ms Harris, who is the first black and Asian-American person to be elected to the role. The crossbench peer, who previously deleted a tweet describing then-Irish taoiseach Leo Varadkar as a "typical Indian", insisted there was "nothing racist" in his latest message. What happens if Biden moves on and the Indian becomes President. Ms Harris, a senator from California, this weekend made history as the first woman to be elected vice president when voters chose her and Joe Biden to replace Donald Trump in the White House. On Monday, Lord Kilclooney tweeted: "What happens if Biden moves on and the Indian becomes President. Labour's leader in the Lords, Baroness Smith, added: "I am so angry about this comment. Labour shadow minister Wes Streeting added: "He did it before to Leo Varadkar and now he's done it to Kamala Harris. This sort of racism would be unacceptable from anyone, but from a member of the House of Lords it beggars belief." Labour's shadow justice secretary David Lammy added: "She is called Kamala Harris. Lord Kilclooney denied that his message was racist. "I'm very fond of India myself, I'm a member of the British India all-party group, I have two Indians (tenants) in my flats here in London and there's nothing racist in it whatsoever. He justified his previous tweet about Mr Varadkar by saying "I didn't know his name at the time" but, asked if he would delete his latest message now he knows Ms Harris's name, he said: "No, not indeed. Jon Wolfsthal, a former adviser to Mr Biden, tweeted Lord Kilclooney to say "you should be ashamed of yourself".