Shadow equalities minister apologises for language in local election leaflet

Emma Bowden, PA
·1-min read

Labour’s shadow women and equalities minister has apologised for handing out campaign leaflets telling residents that the local party was “dealing with Traveller incursions”.

Warrington North MP Charlotte Nichols tweeted a picture of the leaflet for the party’s local election candidates in the Orford area of her constituency while delivering them to residents.

The leaflet featured the Labour Party’s logo and listed a series of pledges ahead of the local council elections in May, including “dealing with Traveller incursions”.

The shadow minister apologised in a statement for the “hurt caused” to the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities by the leaflets and said that it was “not in line” with her personal values or those of the Labour Party.

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“I have spoken to the local Labour Party, the leaflet has been withdrawn and the leaflet will be destroyed,” the statement posted on Twitter said.

“I regret that this leaflet has been distributed in the town. The leaflet is not in line with my personal values or those of the Labour Party.”

In an earlier statement following outrage on social media over the leaflet, Ms Nichols said she had not been aware of the “problematic definition” of incursions, which means a sudden invasion or attack.

“I am trying to be an ally to the GRT (Gypsy, Roma Traveller) community, but anti-racism is an active process that means being willing to listen and to learn,” she said.

“I’m more than happy to sit down with community representatives to discuss more appropriate terminology to talk about sensitive issues like these and how we can work together to best ensure the needs of the community are met going forward.”