The leader of Barking and Dagenham Council has apologised after a video surfaced of him saying he had “the worst possible tan for a Black man” at a Black History Month event.

Darren Rodwell, a white man, said the remark while holding a Black History Month flag and a kufi – a traditional head garment worn by men from some African countries.

Speaking at a Black History Month event, a clip of which Cllr Rodwell described as an "old video", he said: “You might have known that I’ve got the worst tan possible for a Black man.

“But I have the passion of the rhythm of the African and the Caribbean. I used to do swing dance, because I used to love jiggling about.”

It is understood by The Telegraph that Cllr Rodwell is likely to be investigated by the Labour Party, reporting that an official complaint was made in light of his comments.

Cllr Rodwell is on a shortlist of candidates who are campaigning to become Barking’s next MP after Labour’s Margaret Hodge announced she was standing down from her seat which she has held since 1994.

Speaking on Twitter today (October 18), Cllr Rodwell apologised for his “extremely stupid and embarrassing” comments made in the video.

He tweeted: “I have seen this old video that’s doing the rounds. Obviously, what I said at the time was extremely stupid and embarrassing. I deeply apologise to anyone that I have offended.

“Through representing Barking and Dagenham, I have worked tirelessly everyday to build a better world for my community, my family, and for my son who experiences racism in his life.

“I saw off the BNP with a coalition of colleagues from different backgrounds and that is the cornerstone of my leadership. I will continue to learn and to strive for representation in my area if I am selected to be Labour’s candidate for Barking.”