The French parliament was brought to a halt after a far-right MP shouted “they should go back to Africa” as a black colleague talked about immigration.
Grégoire de Fournas, a member of National Rally (RN), said later his remark had not been aimed at Carlos Martens Bilongo himself but at migrants trying to reach Europe by sea.
Mr Bilongo said he had been born in France and the remark was “shameful”.
Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said there was “no room for racism”.
The National Assembly’s bureau meet on Friday and will decide what action to take, after hearing from Mr de Fournas himself.
Mr Bilongo had been questioning the government about a request by the SOS Méditerranée non-governmental organisation for help in finding a port for 234 migrants rescued at sea in recent days.
The exact meaning of the National Rally MP’s remark was unclear, because in French it could either refer to one person or more. The official account of the session recorded his off-microphone remark as Qu’il retourne en Afrique – “he should go back to Africa” – but the plural Qu’ils retournent en Afrique sounds exactly the same.
When Mr de Fournas made his remark, the Speaker, Yaël Braun-Pivet, demanded to know who had spoken. Then, as MPs chanted “Out! Out! Out!”, she suspended the session, declaring, “This is not possible.”
Mr Bilongo, an MP from the the left-wing party France Unbowed (LFI), said: “Today it’s come back to the colour of my skin. I was born in France, I am a French MP.”
Mr de Fournas was adamant he had been referring to the “boat transporting migrants to Europe”, but he later apologised to Mr Bilongo for “the misunderstanding” his comments had caused and if he had been hurt by them.
LFI leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon tweeted that the MP’s comments were “beyond intolerable” and he should be kicked out of the National Assembly.
Immigration featured prominently in the RN’s presidential and parliamentary election campaigns this year, with party leader Marine Le Pen proposing a referendum on major reductions in immigration if she became president.
In the parliamentary election in June, the party increased its presence in the National Assembly tenfold, winning 89 seats.
SOURCE: BBC News
They care if you were born in France Pal they don’t care. Only if all Black people would repatriate back to the mother land secure it and work together, we would have the world begging at our knees. All colonial power want something from there, that’s why they went their especially France and England. Every major oil company has operations in Africa, 85 percent of the world’s minerals, diamonds are and found in Africa. But you know how it goes already, divide and concur, inject their own religion and false prophecy and they have black people by the balls.
You re an idiot, the migrants should go back to Africa, it has nothing to do with racism.
…….if you are living over there, I hope they deport your ass.
I think we pay focus more on an individual person than what really matters. Having money and security can make you do anything. Something i do not bother myseld when a Rich black man enjoy white, indian, and asian because they wanted money and he can give this so read between the line. Racisim is not confine to color we accept it that way …. lets move on
Yeah. What he said was bad, And he did apologize. But black on black discrimination can sometimes be even worse. Crab in a barrel, pulling each other down. Have you ever noticed that St. Lucia has very little place for excellence? They try their best to pull down the excellent. But when they get out of the barrel and make it, everyone in SLU wants to claim them as a son or daughter of the soil. Smh