By Christian Smith
A Labour MP has resigned after apologising for her “extremely poor choice of words” in an article she wrote about grooming gangs.
Sarah Champion, who was appointed the Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities in 2016, wrote an article for the Sun on Friday, where she said that “Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls.”
In an interview for the BBC last Thursday, she said people were not raising potential cases of child abuse for fear of being labelled racist.
Her comments came after 18 people were convicted of or admitted offences in a series of trials related to child sexual exploitation in Newcastle.
“There, I said it. Does that make me a racist? Or am I just prepared to call out this horrifying problem for what it is?” she wrote in the article published by the Sun.
“These people are predators and the common denominator is their ethnic heritage.”
The Rotherham MP, who tendered her resignation to the Labour leader today, was heavily criticised for making the racist statement.
A fellow Labour MP, Naz Shah, said the article was “irresponsible” and “setting a dangerous precedent.”
She has written a letter to the Sun stating her dislike about a comment piece which asked “readers for solution to the Muslim problem.”.
Following the backlash, Mrs Champion, who was formerly a member of the Transport Select Committee tried to distance herself from the article, claiming it had been “stripped of nuance.”
However, a spokesperson for the Sun said: “Sarah Champion’s column, as it appeared on Friday, was approved by her team and her adviser twice contacted us thereafter to say she was ‘thrilled’ with the piece and it ‘looked great’.
“Indeed, her only objection after the article appeared was her belief that her picture byline looked unflattering. Her office submitted five new pictures for further use.”