SPONSORED:

Member of UK House of Lords defends referring to Kamala Harris as 'the Indian'

Member of UK House of Lords defends referring to Kamala Harris as 'the Indian'
© Getty Images

A member of the U.K. House of Lords defended referring to Vice President-elect Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisDwayne 'The Rock' Johnson vs. Donald Trump: A serious comparison Exclusive: How Obama went to bat for Warren To unite America, Biden administration must brace for hate MORE as “the Indian” in a since-deleted tweet on Monday.

Lord John Kilclooney, 88, faced criticism after referring to Harris as “the Indian” when questioning what happens if President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors Biden celebrates vaccine approval but warns 'current improvement could reverse' MORE “moves on” and she becomes president. Harris is slated to become the first Black, Indian and Caribbean American woman to serve as the vice presidency. 

“What happens if Biden moves on and the Indian becomes President. Who then becomes Vice President?” he tweeted, according to The Guardian.

ADVERTISEMENT

After backlash, Kilclooney replied to his post saying, “This tweet is canceled” and deleted the tweet. The former deputy leader of the Ulster Unionist party defended his original post in subsequent tweets, saying he “did not know her name and identified her with the term Indian.”

“Most people understood.Racist NO,” he posted. 

The Speaker of the Lords, Norman Fowler, called on Kilclooney to retract his post and apologize.

ADVERTISEMENT

“This is an offensive way to refer to anyone, let alone a woman who has just made history,” he tweeted. “The comment is entirely unacceptable and has no place in British politics. I could not be clearer.”

Kilclooney in turn condemned Fowler for criticizing him “without having the courtesy of speaking to me beforehand.”

“He is misinformed but I am not surprised!” he posted. 

The House of Lords member also reportedly told the Press Association that he’s “very fond of India myself” and cited that he is a member of the British India all-party group and has two Indian tenants in his buildings.

“I have two Indians (tenants) in my flats here in London and there’s nothing racist in it whatsoever,” he said, according to The Guardian. 

Angela Smith, the Labour Party’s leader in the House of Lords, said she would file an official complaint. 

“I am so angry about this comment,” she said, according to The Guardian. “It is despicable and beneath contempt and totally unacceptable from anyone – but especially from someone in parliament.”

Biden and Harris were declared the president-elect and the vice president-elect after being projected to win the election last weekend. President TrumpDonald TrumpNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors McCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 MORE is challenging the vote count in several battleground states through lawsuits and has not yet conceded to Biden.