Page last updated at 10:36 GMT, Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Tebbit apologises after Chinese dragon 'kerfuffle'

Lord Tebbit
Lord Tebbit said the matter had been resolved amicably

Lord Tebbit has apologised for his behaviour after "shoving" a child dressed as a dragon during celebrations to mark Chinese new year.

The Tory peer told the Daily Mirror he did not realise what the festivities were when he said he heard a "dreadful noise" outside his Suffolk home.

After going out to investigate, he said he had been "jostled" by a dragon and "gave it a shove" in response.

But he said he had resolved the matter amicably with the parade's organiser.

The incident took place during a recent Chinese new year parade in Bury St Edmunds.

Traditional parade

The former Conservative cabinet minister told the newspaper he did not realise what the celebration was.

"I had heard a dreadful noise and went outside and found the street blocked," he said.

"I put my hands on a Chinese drum to try and stop the noise. I got my knuckles rapped for my pains.

"I then got jostled by a dragon. I have never been jostled by a dragon before. I gave it a shove, then got on my way."

Patrick Chung, who has been been organising the parade for 20 years, said the child in the dragon's costume had been "upset" about this as he did not know what was happening.

But Mr Chung, a Conservative councillor in the town, said he had discussed the matter with Lord Tebbit and cleared it up.

"I forgave Mr Chung and will not be taking this any further," the peer added. "I did also apologise for my behaviour."

A spokeswoman for Lord Tebbit said there had been a minor "kerfuffle" but that it had all ended "extremely amicably".

Lord Tebbit, who has not lived in the town for long, was now on "very friendly" terms with the Chinese community there, she added.

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