The Independent Group formed by ex-Labour MPs has stumbled into a racism scandal within three hours of launching.

Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Gavin Shuker, Mike Gapes and Ann Coffey are among the MPs from the party's centrist wing who have been the loudest critics of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership, his stance on Brexit and his handling of allegations of anti-Semitism.

They announced their departure from the party at a 10am press conference on Monday, forming what they call the Independent Group in Westminster.

However within three hours of launching they were already facing accusations of racism after Angela Smith reffered to the black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) community as "funny tinged".

Speaking on the issue of racism in the Labour party on BBC news, Smith said "the recent history of the party I've just left suggests that it's not just about being black or a funny tinge."

She then clarified that she was referring to the BAME community.

The comment sparked outrage online, with Twitter user @judeinlondon2 quipping that she had "joined the Independent Group mistaking it for UKIP."

In a video message posted on social media, Smith has since apologised. She said she mis-spoke and that she fights racism wherever she sees it.