Tory MP demands probe into Labour MP’s ‘Pikey’ tweet

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Police have been asked to investigate a senior Labour MP after he caused a storm on Twitter by referring to a postal worker as “the Pikey” in a message on the website.

Shadow Police Minister Jack Dromey quickly posted another message to say he was referring to the Dad’s Army character Frank Pike.

However Conservative MP David Morris has written to Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe claiming it was an “incident that may constitute incitement to racial hatred” and asking him to set up an inquiry.

Mr Dromey, whose wife is deputy party leader Harriet Harman, was accused of racism over his use of the word Pikey, which is a derogatory term for a gypsy or traveller.

Mr Dromey, MP for Birmingham Erdington, posted a picture of himself and Gareth Martin who he described on Twitter as “the Pikey from the Erdington Royal Mail Sorting Office”, adding that he was “a great guy”.

Twitter user @hammywheel responded by saying: “Disgraceful incitement to racial hatred there? ‘Pikey’ is a horrid thing to call anyone.”

In a reference to possible police action @hammywheel added: “Expect a knock on your door from Plod.”

Mr Dromey quickly attempted to explain his comment, posting another tweet explaining the reference to the much-loved sitcom: “Don’t panic, Mr Mainwaring. This morning’s meeting was with Gareth, a Postie nicknamed after Corporal Pike from Dad’s Army.”

The MP inadvertently promoted Private Pike, who was portrayed on screen by Ian Lavender in the long-running series.

Labour denied reports the MP had an “official warning or rebuke” about the incident and the party appeared satisfied with Mr Dromey’s explanation.

A senior source said: “I think Jack’s follow-up says what needs to be said.”

But in his letter to the head of the Met, Mr Morris claimed he had received a number of complaints about the tweet from members of the traveller community in his Morecambe and Lunesdale seat.

Mr Morris wrote: “I have received a number of complaints from members of the travelling community in my constituency, and am writing on their behalf.”