Caroline Lucas apologises for only asking white women to join anti-Brexit cabinet
12 August 2019, 16:12 | Updated: 12 August 2019, 16:42
The co-leader of the Green Party has apologised for excluding people of colour in her "cabinet of women" plan to block a no-deal Brexit.
Caroline Lucas had written to 10 female politicians opposed to no-deal inviting them to form an "emergency cabinet" that would "press the pause button" on Brexit and offer a new EU referendum.
But after some criticism, Ms Lucas has said the list of names she suggested "isn't right" and that she should have "reached out further and thought more deeply" about representation.
She had tipped political figures such as Labour frontbencher Emily Thornberry, Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson and Scottish First Minister Nicola to join her in the emergency administration.
It was attacked by Trade Secretary Liz Truss as "sexist", while Labour MP Clive Lewis, asked: "Where are the BAME [Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic] women politicians?"
Responding to the criticism, Ms Lucas wrote in a Facebook post that she "wanted all parts of the UK to be part of this conversation" but that "I realise I did not get this right".
"There are women of colour colleagues who are standing up to this government's reckless gamble with Britain's future, and it was wrong to overlook them," the Brighton Pavilion MP wrote.
"I apologise to them and all who've been hurt by their exclusion.
"There are always lessons to be learnt, and I will do my utmost to support, value and uplift women of colour working in politics, particularly those with whom I share common ground."
Ms Lucas added: "There are profound policy disagreements between many of the women I wrote to, and I will continue to challenge views that do not align with my values no matter the working relationship.
"But we are united in our belief that a no-deal Brexit would be disastrous for this country, and needs to be prevented."
Britain is on course for Brexit to happen on 31 October, after Boris Johnson became prime minister on the back of his pledge to ensure it happens on Halloween, "do or die".
The government has demanded Brussels renegotiate the current withdrawal agreement secured by Theresa May after it was defeated three times in parliament, but the EU has refused.
Some MPs are plotting how to block the no-deal default in less than 90 days' time by calling a no-confidence vote in Mr Johnson, which if he lost could trigger a general election.