Sarah Champion resigns as shadow equalities minister after controversial newspaper column

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Sarah Champion has resigned as shadow equalities secretary and apologised for her “extremely poor choice of words” in controversial news story about child abuse.

The Labour MP initially claimed her column in the Sun had been altered and should “not have gone out in my name.”

But the newspaper said her team had fully approved the final piece.

She has now said she was concerned continuing in her shadow cabinet role would distract from the “crucial issues” around child protection.

And Ms Champion cited her article, which was published last Friday, as the reason for her apology and resignation.

She said: “I apologise for the offence caused by the extremely poor choice of words in The Sun article on Friday.

“I am concerned that my continued position in the shadow cabinet would distract from the crucial issues around child protection which I have campaigned on my entire political career.

“It is therefore with regret that I tender my resignation as shadow secretary of state for women and equalities.”

Her piece carried the headline: “British Pakistani men ARE raping and exploiting white girls… and it’s time we faced up to it.”

In it she warned that Britain has a “problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “I have accepted Sarah Champion’s resignation and thank her for her work in the shadow cabinet. I look forward to working together in future.”

A spokeswoman for the Sun said: “Sarah Champion’s column, as it appeared on Friday, was approved by her team and her adviser twice contacted us thereafter to say she was ‘thrilled’ with the piece and it ‘looked great’.

“Indeed, her only objection after the article appeared was her belief that her picture byline looked unflattering. Her office submitted five new pictures for further use.”

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