11 Sep 2006

British MP apologises for comments on PNG

6:14 am on 11 September 2006

A British MP has had to apologise after describing Papua New Guinea as a country of "orgies of cannibalism and chief-killing".

Boris Johnson, the higher education spokesman for the main opposition Conservative Party, was forced to apologise after Papua New Guinea's High Commissioner in London, Jean Kekedo, said she was "shocked and appalled" by the MPs remarks in his latest column in The Daily Telegraph newspaper

Mr Johnson, commenting on the turmoil surrounding Prime Minister Tony Blair's plans to leave office, wrote " For 10 years we in the Tory Party have become used to Papua New Guinea-style orgies of cannibalism and chief-killing, and so it is with a happy amazement that we watch as the madness engulfs the Labour Party."

The AAP news agency quoted the High Commissioner as saying the remarks were "very damaging to the image of Papua New Guinea and an insult to the integrity and intelligence of all Papua New Guineans,"

In his apology , Mr Johnson said he "meant no insult to the people of Papua New Guinea '