28/06/2016 11:03 BST | Updated 28/06/2016 13:06 BST

Racism After Brexit Broadcast In Radio 4 Clip Of BBC's Sima Kotecha Being Called 'P**i'

'Without meaning to sound rude, your skin colour's different.'

BBC Radio 4 has aired the moment its journalist Sima Kotecha was called a 'P**i' by a Brexit voter in her home town of Basingstoke.

Kotecha was in "utter shock" speaking to Brexit voters in the Hampshire town where she grew up, where 52% of people voted to leave the European Union.

She told listeners she asked a man in a local pub whether immigration was a factor in his choice to vote Leave.

"It's not long before he begins uttering racial slurs towards me... " she revealed in the Today programme report.

Sima Kotecha reports on Radio 4 and BBC News.

The man then used "a word the Asian people find especially offensive", Kotecha said.

"All the immigrants, they should leave the country, do you know what I mean?" he man told her.

"So are you talking about Eastern Europeans?" Kotecha asked.

"I'm not saying like P**is... I'm saying all of them," the man replied, leading Kotecha to react with shock: “Did you just say P**is? That’s offensive.”

"Sorry love, I don't mean... I didn't mean to come across.. but it's all them, like, they're not foreigners - we all bleed the same and we've got the same heart - but it's a different colour skin, you know what I mean," the man said.

"So you don't like Asians either?" Kotecha challenged him.

"I do like Asians, I'm not racist at all," he said. "I know I used P**i but I could come out with [something] more offensive, you know what I mean?"

She said she was in 'utter shock'.

11% of people in Basingstoke are from a background other than White British. "Mono culture is now multicultural" Kotecha said in the report.

She then spoke to a woman in the pub, telling her: "I’m rather shocked because that man just called me the p-word".

“A lot of people do use that word quite freely", the woman replied. "You'd be surprised, because, without meaning to sound rude, your skin colour's different. Naive people will look at you at think you're not English. And that’s the way people are around here.”

The radio package then contains the sound of footsteps, suggesting Kotecha has left the pub. 

Racist attacks appear to have soared in Britain after the Brexit vote, as hate crimes reported to police have increased by 57%.

Kotecha makes clear in the report that she has been told "this sort of talk" is nothing new in the area and not necessarily a consequence of the EU Referendum outcome.

Yesterday the BBC reporter tweeted that she was "in utter shock" after recoding the radio package and hadn't heard the word used in her home region since the 1980s.

Many supporters and fellow journalists responded to her, offering their solidarity. 

Labour MP Paula Sherriff said the abuse was “absolutely shocking”, adding that she was aware of similar incidents near her. 


Kotecha tweeted later that the messages of support made her "proud to be British".