Politics

Blackface ‘entirely acceptable bit of fun’, says Tory MP

A senior Conservative MP has described carrying blackface as an “entirely acceptable bit of fun” as he hinted he had finished so to go to a dressing up social gathering as soul singer James Brown.

Sir Desmond Swayne made the contentious remarks as he defended the embattled Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, whose re-election marketing campaign bumped into bother following revelations he had darkened his pores and skin.

Justin Trudeau says 'layers of privilege' prevented him from seeing the offensive side of blackface
‘I did not see that blackface was racist’

The former minister mentioned he “went to some trouble to be as authentic as possible” when posing as James Brown at a Blues Brothers fancy gown social gathering.

The feedback by the the New Forest West MP instantly draw criticism from Labour, who known as on the Conservatives to take motion.

Mr Trudeau expressed remorse after pictures and a video emerged of him carrying blackface and mentioned “the layers of privilege” he benefited from meant he didn’t see that darkening his pores and skin was racist.

Video shows Canadian PM Justin Trudeau in blackface
Canadian PM blackface video

One of the images confirmed him wearing an Aladdin costume and carrying black make-up.

Writing in a weblog put up on his official MP web site, entitled Trudeau’s Turban, Sir Desmond argued the Canadian politician shouldn’t have apologised.

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Sir Desmond, who was knighted by David Cameron in 2016, mentioned: “He would have finished higher to have mentioned it was a completely acceptable bit of enjoyable and refused to apologise.

“I as soon as went to a Blues Brothers themed fancy-dress social gathering as James Brown. I went to some bother to be as genuine as attainable.

“I can assure readers of this column that I have no intention of apologising.”

Asked by Sky News if he had worn blackface, Sir Desmond mentioned: “I think you can draw your own conclusions from [the blog].”

Sir Desmond Swayne MP appearing to sleep as he sits behind former Chancellor Ken Clarke
Image: The MP gave the impression to be sleeping throughout a speech by former chancellor Ken Clarke

Shadow ladies and equalities secretary Dawn Butler mentioned: “This is one other instance of a politician not even attempting to know the historical past of oppression and racism.

“Desmond Swayne has not solely admitted to blacking up himself, however is now actively encouraging others to take action.

“The Tories need to explain what action will be taken against him and whether this took place while he was a government minister.”

Sir Desmond was within the information earlier this yr after he appeared to go to sleep within the House of Commons.

The MP mentioned on the time the image of him dozing behind former chancellor Ken Clarke was “horrible” and “embarrassing”.

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