Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd has apologised to Diane Abbott after describing her as a "coloured woman".

Ms Abbott, the shadow home secretary, said the term "coloured" was "outdated" and "offensive", and was a "revealing choice of words".

Ms Rudd, who made the comment in an interview with BBC Radio 2's Jeremy Vine about online abuse suffered by women, said she was "mortified" by her "clumsy" use of language.

"Mortified at my clumsy language and sorry to @HackneyAbbott," she wrote on Twitter.

"My point stands: that no-one should suffer abuse because of their race or gender."

In response to a question about internet trolling, Ms Rudd said: "It definitely is worse if you're a woman, and it's worst of all if you're a coloured woman.

"I know that Diane Abbott gets a huge amount of abuse and I think that's something we need to continue to call out."

Ms Abbott responded: "The term 'coloured', is an outdated, offensive and revealing choice of words."

In the interview, Ms Rudd went on to refer to a report by Lord Bew, the then chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, into the trolling of public figures.

"It definitely was the case that women get it more, black and black minority ethnic women get it additionally," she said.

"It is just a particularly nasty form of attack that focuses on gender and colour."

The apology by Ms Rudd, seen as a potential future Tory leadership challenger, comes four months after she returned to the Cabinet having resigned last April as home secretary over the Windrush scandal.

Last month, former Labour MP Angela Smith, who quit the party to join the new Independent Group, apologised after appearing to suggest people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds had a "funny tinge".