LONDON: Katie Hopkins, the right-wing columnist and TV personality, has been reported to the police for possible race hate crimes after being accused by a Labour MP of equating men of Pakistani origin with child abusers and inciting racial hatred towards all Pakistanis.
Labour MP Simon Danczuk approached the Commissioner of Greater Manchester Police Tony Lloyd, stating that Katie Hopkins may have incited racial hatred in Rochdale by suggesting Pakistani men in the area were sex abusers.
Labour MP complained that the reality TV star had used Twitter to associate the Pakistani flag with the grooming of young girls in Rochdale. Hopkins started sending the tweets after Danczuk attended a ceremony of raising of a Pakistani flag over the town hall for half an hour on March 23 to mark Pakistan’s National Day and tweeted his picture from the event.
She wrote: “Raising a Pakistani flag in Rochdale is not helping community cohesion. It is inflammatory. @SimonDanczuk you & your party disgust me.”Hopkins followed it with further tweets and sent to MP a picture of eight men convicted of child exploitation offences, asking Danczuk if they were his friends too.
Explaining his decision to make the complaint, the MP said it was about the columnist “inciting racial hatred” towards Pakistanis.He said: “The letter is me asking the Police Commissioner to investigate whether a crime has been committed in relation to Katie Hopkins. It is not right that somebody who has little to do with Rochdale incited hatred of this kind. Rochdale is a very cohesive community - people work well together. Of course there are tensions, like there are in other communities, but people rub together really well and we don’t need outsiders like Katie Hopkins to come in and cause trouble just for the sake of causing trouble and creating Sun headlines.”
Danczuk said Rochdale has faced up to the “heinous crime” of child grooming “in a way that’s managed to keep our communities together”.He said: “That’s why Katie Hopkins’ crass comments are not helpful. They are a clear attempt to divide communities, undo three years of hard work and make an unfair and racist generalisation that anyone of Pakistani origin is a child abuser. To equate the Pakistan flag with child abuse, as she has done on social media over the last week, is absurd and it creates a dangerous environment where extreme intolerance becomes acceptable.”
He said that because of rising Islamophobia, Pakistani taxi drivers have been stabbed in the face in race hate attacks. He said that Hopkins had incited hatred against the same people “in such a dangerously provocative way that could lead to innocent people being attacked by extremists”.
The MP said that as a result of her comments, he has been “threatened by extremists and hard right groups have pledged to march on our town”. The MP added: “I am a strong supporter of free speech but it has to be responsible - and that’s why we have laws to prevent people deliberately provoking hatred of a racial group.”