The deputy chairman of the Conservative party has said it is “unfortunate that Diane-lovers” are focusing on Amber Rudd’s ‘coloured woman’ comment, when she was addressing the abuse the Labour MP receives.
Ms Rudd apologised after she made the comment in an interview with BBC Radio 2's Jeremy Vine about online abuse suffered by women, saying she was "mortified" by her "clumsy" use of language.
Diane Abbott, the shadow home secretary, said the term "coloured" was "outdated" and "offensive", and was a "revealing choice of words".
James Cleverly told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer: “It was an error on her part and she has apologised profusely and that was absolutely right for her to do.
“I think it is unfortunate that Diane-lovers have focused on that word when the point Amber was making was that she was standing in solidarity with Diane Abbott who has been the victim of some appalling online abuse.”
'Small slips of the tongue'
Mr Cleverly added that it was “frustrating” that people had concentrated on the “coloured woman” remarks.
“Politicians have to do a lot of talking and often you have to do it under quite a lot of pressure. Occasionally you make mistakes,” he said.
“Yesterday we had more mistakes than we would have liked but they were small slips of the tongue.
“The points that we were getting across in all those incidents were very important.
“It is frustrating that the headlines concentrate on the one word that was misspoken rather than the broader point that we were getting across. Unfortunately these things happen sometimes.”
This week, Karen Bradley was also criticised for comments made about the Troubles in Northern Ireland.
On Wednesday, the Northern Ireland Secretary said that deaths caused by the security forces in Northern Ireland were "not crimes".
She has since readdressed the comments saying that she had "said the wrong thing".