A Tory MP has boasted he blacked up, it was “fun”, he’s not sorry, and the only reason he won’t do it again is because it was hard to wash off.
Sir Desmond Swayne made the astonishing brag after Canada’s Prime Minister was exposed using dark make-up at least twice at fancy dress parties in his youth.
Canada’s Prime Minister apologised and admitted white “privilege” had blinded him to the fact wearing blackface was racist.
Yet former International Development minister Sir Desmond has now claimed it was an “entirely acceptable bit of fun”.
The 63-year-old MP for New Forest West, handed a knighthood by David Cameron in 2016, said he blacked up as Godfather as Soul James Brown at a Blues Brothers party and had “no intention” of apologising.
He added the only reason he would not put on blackface again is “because you have to go to some trouble to get it off”.
Sir Desmond bizarrely made the confession in a blog post on his personal website despite no one asking him if he’d ever blacked up or what he thought about the row.
The MP wrote: “I suspect that Justin Trudeau’s cringing apology for blacking himself ‘blinded by his own white privilege’ has done him rather more harm than the original offence.
“It was a themed ‘Arabian Nights’ fancy-dress party for heaven’s sake!
“It comes to something when you can’t dress-up as Aladdin without attracting the opprobrium of the ‘great and good’.
“He would have done better to have said it was an entirely acceptable bit of fun and refused to apologise.
“I once went to a ‘Blues Brothers’ themed fancy-dress party as James Brown. I went to some trouble to be as authentic as possible.
“I can assure readers of this column that I have no intention of apologising.
“Constituents often write to me having been infuriated by some latest absurdity of political correctness. I tell them that the best response is simply to laugh at it.”
Singer Brown starred in the hit 1980s film Blues Brothers, playing Cleophus James, a reverend of the Triple Rock Baptist Church.
Sir Desmond, a former economics teacher and Major in the British Army who joined Parliament in 2017, refused to back down when questioned by his local newspaper the Bournemouth Echo.
Asked if he could see the issue with the practice, he said: “No one has complained to me about it.
“The reason I wouldn’t do it again is because you have to go to some trouble to get it off. It’s not a non-trivial exercise.”
In his online rant Sir Desmond also attacked an academic conference at Roehampton University at which delegates wore badges letting others know whether they were happy to talk to each other.
He said: “Here’s one to amuse. Last week, academics attended a conference at Roehampton University.
“[It was] entitled “Thinking beyond Transversal Transfeminisms” and [they wore] badges informing each other if they were happy to chat, or prefer not to be spoken to at all.
“Barking or what?”
Time Magazine published a picture of Justin Trudeau last week in brownface at a bash at a private school he taught at in 2001.
The politician was dressed in robes and a turban for the ‘Arabian Nights’-themed event at West Point Grey Academy in Vancouver.
Mr Trudeau commented on the scandal by saying he was ‘deeply sorry’ for the mistake and ‘should have known better’.
After photos emerged of him wearing dark make-up on other occasions, the PM admitted he could not remember how many times he had done it.