The Huffington Post has obtained audio of Anne Marie Morris, Conservative MP for Newton Abbott, referring to the prospect of Britain leaving the European Union without a deal as "a real n***** in a woodpile."
According to Merriam-Webster, "n***** in a woodpile" is an idiom that refers to "something (as a concealed motive or obscure factor) contrary to appearances in a situation."
Morris was speaking at a launch event hosted by the Politeia group for a report on the the future of Britain's financial sector post-Brexit at East India Club in St James Square. She made the remark while discussing how much of the industry would be affected in 2019: “Now we get to the real n****r in the woodpile which is in two years what happens if there is no deal?”
Other Conservative MPs Bill Cash and John Redwood were reportedly in attendance, and did not react to the slur.
During the 2017 election Morris's partner and electoral agent Roger Kendrick stood up at a local discussion on schools and funding, and said that "the crisis in education was due entirely to non-British born immigrants and their high birth rates." Morris distanced herself from Kendrick's statement, saying that she did not "share the views expressed by Roger Kendrick."
"The comment was entirely unintentional. I apologise unreservedly for any offence caused," a rep for Ann Marie Morris told The FADER over email.
Thumbnail photo via Palm News / YouTube
Update, 7/10/17, 1:56 p.m: Prime Minister Theresa May has asked the chief whip to suspend Morris. “I was shocked to hear of these remarks, which are completely unacceptable,” May said in a statement. "Language like this has absolutely no place in politics or in today’s society.”