At least one black Lib Dem has threatened to resign his membership over Cllr Swains refusal to apologise.
Since they welcomed him back to the fold last week, the party’s group on Reading Borough Council have been doing their best to bury the story of an offensive racial remark by their member Warren Swaine, who suggested MP Chuka Umunna would use his race to excuse himself “for being a muppet”:
Anger that the controversial councillor now refuses to apologise for the outburst has been met with apparent indifference by regional officers and local leader Cllr Daisy Benson, who has squashed efforts to raise the issue. And it seems some of her colleagues are far from happy.
A failure to take the matter seriously has left senior black party members “absolutely furious”. Lewisham councillor Duwayne Brooks, best friend of the murdered Stephen Lawrence, is rumoured to be so unhappy that he has suggested he may resign.
Speaking to institutional problems within the party, we may have reached the point where the handling is as damaging as the original remark.