Sunday, 3 March 2013

MP subjected to 6-month '£100,000' police racism probe for telling man he is 'unkempt'

A former Government Minister has been subjected to a ‘humiliating’ six-month racism investigation by police after describing a voter who claims to have a Romany Gipsy background as unkempt.

Conservative MP Tim Loughton was summoned to a police station where he was questioned under caution by detectives for 90 minutes.

The MP, an Education Minister at the time, had to mingle with drug dealers and was asked if he could read or write or had mental health problems, an experience he said was ‘unsettling and intimidating’.

The investigation was sparked by a strongly worded email in which Mr Loughton backed his local council’s description of someone he considered a troublesome constituent.

In the email, the MP told the constituent, Kieran Francis, that he agreed with the description of him as ‘unkempt’.

But Mr Francis claimed this was racist because he has ‘Romany Gipsy origins’ and said his MP was ‘being disrespectful’ by calling him ‘dirty’.

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