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Fury as peer calls Kamala Harris 'The Indian' in act of 'Dark Ages-level racism'  

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Fury as peer calls Kamala Harris 'The Indian' in act of 'Dark Ages-level racism'

Bafflingly, it's not even the first time Lord Kilclooney has described an accomplished politician as 'The Indian' instead of using their name

He added: “People in America claim to be black, claim to be Irish, claim to be Indian.  I don’t like the way the American media yesterday was referring to her as being black that is rather racist. But she’s certainly Indian and proud of her Indian origin.”

He later tweeted: "I did NOT know her name. She is totally new to me. Now I know it is Harris. Biden is proud to be Irish and Harris to be Indian. Both have every right to do so. I deplore some media describing her as being black. Colour racism should not be introduced!"

But Labour shadow minister Wes Streeting said "action must be taken" over the peer's tweet.  "He did it before to Leo Varadkar and now he's done it to Kamala Harris,” he said.

“This sort of racism would be unacceptable from anyone, but from a member of the House of Lords it beggars belief.”

Labour leader in the Lords Angela Smith said she will submit official complaints to the Lord Speaker and Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.  Baroness Smith said: “I am so angry about this comment. It is despicable and beneath contempt, and totally unacceptable from anyone but especially from someone in Parliament.”

Labour's shadow justice secretary David Lammy added: "She is called Kamala Harris. Please send this awful comment straight back to the dark ages."

Tory MP Simon Hoare tweeted: “Bad. Rude. Racist. Appalling. He should apologise and withdraw. I understand he has blocked me for saying so.”

And Labour MP Thangam Debbonaire added: “She's been democratically elected to VP of the USA and you don't use her name? I'm of Indian origin and proud of it, but I'm not 'The Indian'.  As an elected representative I have a name and I expect better of a member of our second chamber when referring to VP Kamala Harris.”

Ms Harris, the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, will become the highest-ranking woman to ever hold an elected office in the US when the Democrat is inaugurated on January 20.  In 2018, Lord Kilclooney tweeted "typical Indian" in response to a tweet about criticism of Mr Varadkar, whose father is from India, during a visit to Northern Ireland.  After widespread condemnation, the former UUP member, now 82, insisted he was "certainly no racist" and that he has "an admiration for Indians".

The House of Lords is yet to comment.