Charlotte Nichols claims not to have known the meaning of the word ‘incursion’
Labour’s Shadow Equalities Minister has provoked outrage by tweeting pictures of herself handing out campaign leaflets with anti-GRT (Gypsy/Roma/Traveller) wording.
Charlotte Nichols subsequently apologised ‘for the hurt caused’, but at the time of writing had not deleted the original tweet. She said in her apology that she had not known the meaning of the word ‘incursion’:
Nichols’s tweet was heavily ‘ratioed’, with only twenty-odd retweets compared to a thousand replies and another thousand overwhelmingly negative ‘quote tweets’. Responses to her tweet and apology gave an indication of the level of hurt and outrage caused:
Unite’s Howard Beckett has tweeted this morning that people holding such views have no place in the Labour party:
Nichols says that she did not know the meaning of the word, but Labour leaflets have to be signed off by the party:
Those ‘liking’ Nichols’s original tweet included the leader of Warrington council, as well as a list of right-wing Labour figures:
One GRT activist told Skwawkbox that the leaflet was hurtful independent of the specific word ‘incursion’:
It’s not the specific word, it’s that it treats us like an ethnicity that needs to be ‘dealt with’, a problem that needs to be solved.
In 2016, then-Labour MP – and now Tory-made peer – John Mann sent a pamphlet to Bassetlaw residents that included Travellers in a list of of ‘anti-social behaviour’. Mann was interviewed by police as a result, although no action was ultimately taken.
GRT activist Mikey Walsh told Skwawkbox last month of the pain caused by the Tories’ anti-GRT policing bill – and by an anti-Traveller statement posted by Labour front-bencher Toby Perkins on Perkins’s website.
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