Cops Investigating Tory Philip Dunne For Alleged Hate Crime Over Turban Remark

Labour rival Kuldip Sahota says he was "shamed and humiliated" by Dunne's "talking through his turban" comment.
Tory candidate Philip Dunne
Tory candidate Philip Dunne
PA Archive/PA Images

Tory candidate Philip Dunne is facing a police investigation for alleged hate crime after reportedly saying a Sikh Labour rival was “talking through his turban”.

The Conservative candidate for Ludlow was said to have aimed the “racist” comment at Kuldip Sahota during an election debate on Wednesday evening.

West Mercia Police has confirmed officers are investigating the alleged incident in Shropshire.

Local policing inspector Saf Ali appealed for information and said: “Officers are currently investigating the report, which is being treated as a hate incident. We take reports of such incidents extremely seriously and enquiries are currently ongoing.”

Sahota repeated his call for Boris Johnson to suspend Dunne from the Conservative Party.

He said: “The police have suggested Philip Dunne’s racist comment towards me could constitute a hate crime and I am formally reporting it as such.

“The Conservatives are refusing to suspend Philip Dunne and to strip him of his honour. This further exposes Boris Johnson’s lie that he is taking action against racism in his party. In standing by Philip Dunne, he is endorsing hate and prejudice towards Sikhs.

“His comment about my turban was hateful. He shamed and humiliated me in a public attack on my faith and my community.”

Labour candidate Kuldip Sahota.
Labour candidate Kuldip Sahota.
PA Archive/PA Images

The Labour candidate continued: “He did not apologise until I called him out, and even when he did, he showed no humility, no self-reflection and no understanding of why his words were racist. He is not fit to be an elected representative in our diverse, multicultural country.”

HuffPost UK contacted Dunne’s office about the report but a spokesperson said the candidate did not want to comment.

Dunne has previously issued an apology but the Tories have not said the would-be MP will face any disciplinary action, despite Labour’s calls.

Johnson claimed earlier in the campaign that his party would take a zero tolerance approach to racism, with anyone behind racist comments “out first bounce”.

Sikh Tories, meanwhile, have said Dunne’s “comments are simply unacceptable”.

In comments issued by Tory central office on Thursday, Dunne said: “I apologised to Kuldip Sahota for my comments last night.

“I apologise again unreservedly for the offence caused.”

HuffPost UK has contacted the Conservatives for response.

Anyone with any information to contact police by calling 101.


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