England

Abuse probe over black face-paint Morris dancers

  • 10 January 2017
  • From the section England
Media captionThe Morris dancers were accused of 'mocking black people'

Police are investigating an allegation of abuse aimed at Morris dancers who were heckled for wearing black face-paint.

The group were jeered during a performance in Birmingham city centre on Saturday.

West Midlands Police said it will review CCTV of the event after receiving a complaint.

The BBC has contacted the dancers, from Alvechurch in Worcestershire, for comment.

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Image caption Police received a complaint about alleged "verbal abuse and threats"

Supt Andy Parsons said: "We have received one complaint regarding verbal abuse and threats made to someone linked to the dance group.

"No complaints have been made about the Morris dancing performance itself. "

Image copyright Twitter

Mr Parsons added officers would also be speaking to witnesses to "understand exactly what happened" and determine if any offences were committed.

The issue has sparked numerous comments on social media, with many people voicing support for the dancers.

Among those was Bromsgrove MP, Sajid Javid, who said Morris dancers were "as racist as I am".

Image copyright Facebook
Image copyright Facebook

The use of black face make-up by Morris dancers has made headlines before after Shrewsbury Folk Festival banned the practice after receiving complaints.

However, supporters say the practice dates back centuries and is not linked to race.

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