[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 26 September 2005, 19:07 GMT 20:07 UK
MP's article 'highly offensive'
Ann Winterton
Ann Winterton was sacked as a shadow minister over a racist joke
A race equality group has complained to the Conservative Party after an MP said the UK was "thankfully a predominantly white, Christian country".

The Cheshire Racial Equality Council said Ann Winterton's remarks were "highly offensive".

But a Tory spokeswoman said it had not yet received an official complaint.

The Congleton MP was sacked as shadow rural affairs minister in 2002 after making a racist joke during an after-dinner speech to a rugby club.

Mrs Winterton also had the party whip withdrawn in 2004 after making a joke about Chinese cockle pickers at a Whitehall dinner to improve Anglo-Danish relations.

A lot of people on 7 July who lost people were from black and minority ethnic groups and she seems to forget that within her article
Chantelle Janes, Cheshire Racial Equality Council

Her latest remarks appeared in an article for the Congleton Guardian, in which she expressed sympathy for the families of the victims of the London bomb attacks in July.

In it, she wrote: "We live in times of tremendous change but the United Kingdom is still, thankfully, a predominantly white, Christian country.

"Some might say we are now simply paying the price for the so-called 'benefits' of the multi-cultural society we keep hearing about, the product of almost uncontrolled immigration and the abuse of asylum."

Chantelle Janes, director of Cheshire Racial Equality Council, said her comments "failed to recognise the contribution black and minority ethnic people have made to this country and its development".

Emergency services

Mrs Winterton's article also praised the work of the London emergency services on 7 July.

But Ms Janes said she had forgotten the contribution of ethnic minority ambulance staff.

She said: "A lot of people within those emergency services are from black and minority ethnic group.

"A lot of people on 7 July who lost people were from black and minority ethnic groups and she seems to forget that within her article."

Mrs Winterton and the Congleton Guardian were unavailable for comment.

Cockler joke MP returns to Tories
31 Mar 04 |  UK Politics
Howard refuses to meet sacked MP
27 Feb 04 |  UK Politics
Ann Winterton: A 'family values' Tory
26 Feb 04 |  UK Politics
Tories disown cockler joke MP
26 Feb 04 |  UK Politics
String of Tory race gaffes
05 May 02 |  UK Politics
No charges over Tory's racist joke
31 May 02 |  Politics

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific