BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: Politics  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Friday, 31 May, 2002, 13:31 GMT 14:31 UK
No charges over Tory's racist joke
Ann Winterton
The MP's joke was described as "unacceptable"
The Conservative politician who cracked a racist joke at a rugby club dinner will not face racism charges, it has been confirmed.

Mrs Winterton, 61, was sacked as shadow cabinet spokeswoman for rural affairs after making a joke that Pakistanis were "ten a penny" in the UK.

But despite being reported to police for the remark, it was confirmed on Friday that she will not be charged.

A Cheshire Police spokeswoman said: "We have investigated the allegation and interviewed various people. No charges have been brought and no further action will follow."

Mrs Winterton, who is married to Nicholas Winterton, MP for nearby Macclesfield, made the joke at Congleton Rugby Club at the beginning of May.

'Ten a penny'

Conservative leader Ian Duncan Smith said he was forced to sack her because the joke she told was "offensive and unacceptable".

She had told the gathering how an Englishman threw a Pakistani out of a railway carriage coach because, the Englishman said, they were '10 a penny' in this country.

Mr Duncan Smith offered the shadow rural affairs minister the chance to resign but she refused and he told her to stand down.

The MP issued a statement saying: "I unreservedly apologise if anyone was offended or took offence to what I said."

The Commission for Racial Equality described Mrs Winterton's joke as "unfortunate", adding that it was particularly bad timing because three British National Party councillors were elected in Burnley the week she made the remark.


Talking PointTALKING POINT
Tory race row
Did MP deserve to be sacked over joke?
See also:

05 May 02 | UK Politics
05 May 02 | UK Politics
05 May 02 | UK Politics
05 May 02 | UK Politics
20 Dec 00 | UK Politics
06 Sep 01 | UK Politics
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


E-mail this story to a friend



© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes