Election 2019

General election 2019: Hate probe over candidate's turban jibe

Kuldip Sahota
Image caption Kuldip Sahota said the remark had "ridiculed his faith"

A remark by a Conservative general election candidate about a Sikh politician's turban is being treated by police as a "hate incident".

Philip Dunne, who is seeking to return as MP for Ludlow, Shropshire, said Labour rival Kuldip Sahota was "talking through his turban" during hustings in Church Stretton on Wednesday night.

West Mercia Police said it took such reports "extremely seriously".

Mr Dunne declined to comment when approached by the BBC.

He has previously apologised "unreservedly for the offence caused".

'Racist remark'

Mr Sahota, the former leader of Telford and Wrekin Council, said the "shocking" turban remark was made when he asked Mr Dunne a question about education funding.

He said the debate continued for 15 minutes, but only received an apology after he pointed out the comment.

"It's disrespectful and ridiculing my faith. I'm pleased the police are investigating it as a hate incident," said Mr Sahota.

Image caption Philip Dunne has apologised "unreservedly"

Insp Saf Ali said: "Officers are currently investigating the report, which is being treated as a hate incident.

"We take reports of such incidents extremely seriously and inquiries are currently ongoing."

Sikh politician Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, called Mr Dunne's comment a "disgusting, racist remark".

A full list of Ludlow's general election candidates can be found here.

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