Tuesday, August 24, 1999 Published at 13:09 GMT 14:09 UK
Straw repeats travellers comments
The home secretary's remarks were aimed at travellers not gypsies
Home Secretary Jack Straw has continued to insist that many travellers commit crimes.
Mr Straw also told the BBC the public supported him because what he said was true.
Speaking on BBC Radio Two's The Jimmy Young Show Mr Straw cited a "wonderful" interview he had heard on the radio which proved his point.
He said: "A gypsy - I think he described himself as a gypsy - was asked about the allegations that they committed crime and he said `Yes, we do'.
"He said, `We are better in terms of family life than the rest of the population' but he said `It's true, we are thieves and we need to sort this out' - I rest my case," Mr Straw added.
"What's interesting is the huge amount of support which I have received around the country because the British public know that what I said was true."
The home secretary remained unrepentant: "I make no apologies, I won't take back a single word of what I said because what I said was true, and what my detractors have got to do is to say where I said anything which was inaccurate or untrue - there wasn't a single word of what I said that was inaccurate or untrue."
In his original remarks Mr Straw had said some travellers masqueraded as gypsies in order to cover their criminal activities.
He accused them of "thieving, burgling or defecating in doorways".
At the time the Commission for Racial Equality said it had received a complaint from the Friends, Families and Travellers Advice and Information Unit with regards to Mr Straw's comments.
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