London (CNN)A British lawmaker caused outrage Monday after a recording emerged of her seemingly describing the prospect of Britain leaving the European Union without a deal as “the real n***** in the woodpile.”
When contacted by CNN, Morris replied by email, saying: “The comment was entirely unintentional. I apologize unreservedly for any offense caused.”
British Prime Minister and Conservative Party Leader Theresa May has asked that Morris be suspended, calling the remark “completely unacceptable.”
“Language like this has absolutely no place in politics or in today’s society,” May said in a statement.
Morris made the remarks at a meeting of Euroskeptics in central London while discussing Britain’s pending exit from the EU.
Fellow UK lawmakers were quick to condemn the comments.
Heidi Allen, a Conservative MP, said Moore’s apology was “not good enough.” On Twitter, Allen wrote: “I’m afraid an apology is not good enough – we must show zero tolerance for racism. MPs must lead by example.”
“I honestly thought we had made some progress on this dreadful type of language and to hear an MP say it, l am genuinely shocked, awful stuff,” tweeted Angela Rayner, an MP from the opposition Labour Party.
Labour’s Lucy Powell labeled the comments “shocking.” “If this was said at a school, (rightly) serious consequences would follow. We should have same standards & consequences,” Powell tweeted.
Morris won her parliamentary seat with a majority of over 17,000 at last month’s general election.
The Tory MP is not the first Conservative lawmaker to have used the phrase in public.
In 2008, Robert Dixon-Smith apologized after making the comment during a session in the House of Lords.
David Cameron, who was Prime Minister at the time, condemned Dixon-Smith’s comments but did not fire him.