'Racist' email by Irlam and Cadishead Times magazine boss probed

Image source, Family photograph
Image caption,
Mrs Latif said "having a bad day" was no excuse for the racist remark

A email containing a racist term sent in error to a businesswoman is being investigated by police as a hate crime.

Geoff Blackburn, sales director at the Irlam and Cadishead Times used a derogatory term for a person from Pakistan to describe a potential advertiser to a colleague.

Aisha Latif who runs Ash Cosmetics said she was "deeply offended" by the email she inadvertently received on Friday.

Mr Blackburn said it "wasn't meant to be racist" and has apologised.

'No excuse'

Mrs Latif, a biomedical scientist from Salford, said she was "shocked" after receiving the correspondence as she was trying to negotiate advertising rates with the magazine.

Mr Blackburn posted on the Irlam and Cadishead Times' Facebook page saying he had sent a "deep and heartfelt apology" to Mrs Latif.

He said: "It was not intended in any way to be racist, that just isn't me.

"After having a bad day at the office, the pressures of the day had just got to me... I just simply lost the plot."

"It would be such a shame for [the the magazine] to be ruined over my stupid and selfish comment."

Mrs Latif said: "Having a bad day is no excuse."

She said it made her feel "really down" but said she had also been amazed by the online support.

"I didn't want to put anything on Facebook about it but my husband said it was 'bang out of order'... I didn't think it would go viral."

Barbara Keeley Labour MP for Worsley and Eccles South was among those who sent Mrs Latif online messages, posting she was "embarrassed anyone in my constituency would make a comment like this".

Greater Manchester Police said in a statement it had received a report of an alleged hate crime on Friday and that enquiries were "on going".

Mr Blackburn has been contacted by the BBC but has yet to comment.

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