Walsall Council chief apologises over traveller feedback (News)


Mike Bird

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Mike Hen stated travellers “run round on motorbikes shouting abuse”

A council chief has apologised for saying travellers are a “lawless society” who “run round on motorbikes shouting abuse”.

Mike Hen, the chief of the controlling Conservative group at Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council, made the feedback throughout a phone-in on BBC WM.

A travellers charity beforehand stated it was disgusted by Mr Hen’s “hate”.

Mr Hen stated he didn’t intend to trigger offence.

He advised the BBC: “I wish to categorical my honest remorse and apologies to anybody who was offended by the use if this deeply disagreeable phrase in relation to any group.

“I respect each group and particular person equally and that’s one thing I firmly imagine in.

“I deeply remorse any offence prompted, it was actually not supposed or meant.”

Picture copyright

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Mike Hen is chief at Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council

Through the phone-in on Thursday, through which he drew distinction between “their” and “our” tradition, he additionally accused travellers of thefts within the borough.

One caller labelled travellers “parasitic” throughout an extended criticism to which Mr Hen responded: “The gentleman is totally 100% proper.”

Mr Hen had stated: “Those that I’ve come throughout, they’re a lawless society, they don’t have any respect in any respect for our group.”

A spokesperson for charity Pals, Households and Travellers, which “seeks to finish racism and discrimination in opposition to Gypsies, travellers and Roma”, stated it was “disgusted” by Mr Hen’s feedback which have been stuffed with “hate and primarily based upon generalisations”.

Phien O’Reachtagian, chairman of the Gypsy and Traveller Coalition, stated beforehand: “His suggestion that communities are lawless is trigger for concern from somebody in his place.

“We might be trying to make a proper criticism and liaise with police to see if a criminal offense has been dedicated.”


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