A British Brexit-backing Tory MP who described the prospect of leaving the European Union with no deal as "the real n***** in the woodpile" has apologised.
Anne Marie Morris said her comment, which has been described as racism, was "entirely unintentional", adding: "I apologise unreservedly for any offence caused".
The Tories are facing calls to remove the whip from Ms Morris and a party spokesman said in a statement: "We are aware of these reports, this kind of language is completely unacceptable, and we are urgently investigating."
MPs have called on the Tories to cut the party’s ties with Ms Morris.
Outgoing Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said: "This disgusting comment belongs in the era of the Jim Crow laws and has no place in our Parliament.
"The Conservative Party should withdraw the whip from Anne Marie Morris and they should do it today.
"Every hour they leave her in place, is a stain on them and the so called ’compassionate conservatism’ they supposedly espouse.
"I am utterly shocked that this person represents the good people of Newton Abbot.
"Even if she misspoke this is the nastiest thing I’ve heard an MP utter since Lord Dixon Smith uttered the same awful phrase a few years ago."
Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas tweeted: "Appalling. Should have the whip removed immediately.
"No place in our politics for racism, full stop."
Appalling. Should have the whip removed immediately. No place in our politics for racism, full stop. https://t.co/khnbjFUVGi— Caroline Lucas (@CarolineLucas) July 10, 2017
Ms Morris made the remarks at a meeting of Eurosceptics at the East India Club in St James Square in central London, which was organised by the Politeia group.
In an audio clip obtained by the Huffington Post, she is heard saying: "And then we get to the real n***** in the woodpile which is in two years what happens if there is no deal?"
According to the website she made the remark while discussing what financial services deal Britain could strike with the EU after Brexit.