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Twitter abuse of Ukip MEP probed

Police are investigating claims a Ukip MEP was subjected to racial abuse on Twitter because of his Romany gypsy background.

James Carver, who represents the West Midlands, said he had been called a "pikey", which he said was "as offensive as racist expletives that are used against other minorities".

West Mercia Police confirmed that it was looking into Mr Carver's allegations he had received racial abuse on social media.

The MEP said he visited Worcester police station last week to make his complaint about the online comments.

Mr Carver said: "I would like to thank West Mercia Police for their prompt and professional response to deeply offensive comments which were made directly to me last week on my Twitter page.

"I will not tolerate such comments, least of all from so-called internet trolls, and am reassured by the professionalism of West Mercia Police, who are investigating this matter fully with a view to bringing the alleged perpetrator to justice.

"As well as questioning my parentage, the word 'pikey', which is deeply offensive to members of Roma, gypsy and traveller communities, was used against me.

"The public must comprehend that the everyday use of this word only serves to further stigmatise these forgotten communities. It is as offensive as racist expletives that are used against other minorities."

A West Mercia Police spokeswoman confirmed the force had received the complaint and said: "We are currently looking into it."

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