THE speaker of the House of Lords has said the Unionist peer who referred to US vice president-elect Kamala Harris as simply “the Indian” must “retract and apologise”.
Norman Fowler, the 82-year-old Tory who was elected to be Lords speaker in 2016, said John Taylor’s racist remark had “no place in British politics”.
Taylor, who was made a life peer as Baron Kilclooney in 2001, tweeted earlier today: “What happens if Biden moves on and the Indian becomes President. Who then becomes Vice President?”
Fowler slammed Taylor for the tweet, saying it was “an offensive way to refer to anyone, let alone a woman who has just made history”.
He said Taylor’s comment was “entirely unacceptable”, adding: “I could not be clearer.”
READ MORE: Unionist peer slammed for ‘repugnant’ racist remark about Kamala Harris
Alan Brown, the SNP MP for Kilmarnock and Loudoun, said an apology and retraction would not be enough, adding: “This man is supposed to be a lawmaker. Time for [the House of Lords] to be shut down.”
Harris, who has Indian Tamil and Afro-Jamaican heritage, will be the first Asian American, the first African American, and the first female vice president in US history.
The racist remark has reportedly already been brought to the attention of Joe Biden’s team, according to Pippa Crerar, the Daily Mirror’s political editor.
After two hours of outrage pouring in from across the world, Taylor added to his first tweet. Ignoring accusations of racism, he said: “The state of Israel must be recognised and defended as must the rights of Palestinians. Harris is right.”
He was apparently referring to reports that Harris and Biden would roll back Trump-era policies around Israel, saying: “We are committed to a two-state solution, and we will oppose any unilateral steps that undermine that goal. We will also oppose annexation and settlement expansion.
READ MORE: Douglas Ross accused of climate change denial and ‘anti-science drivel’
“Joe and I also believe in the worth and value of every Palestinian and every Israeli and we will work to ensure that Palestinians and Israelis enjoy equal measures of freedom, security, prosperity and democracy.”
The phrase “She’s American” has begun trending on Twitter in reaction to Taylor’s disparaging “the Indian” comment.
Author and activist Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu tweeted: “’The Indian’? You racist bigot!
“Lord Kilclooney names #Biden by name but reduces #KamalaHarris to Indian. The venom of his #WhiteSupremacy is palpable. Then disparages @KamalaHarris as potential POTUS by otherising her when she’s American.
“How’s this racist bastard a life peer?”
Taylor has now responded to Fowler. Taking again to Twitter, the peer wrote: “I understand from the media that Speaker Fowler has criticised my tweet about the USA Presidency without having the courtesy of speaking to me beforehand.
“He is misinformed but I am not surprised!”
It is unclear what he is claiming Fowler was misinformed about.