UK & World News

  • 13 December 2013, 20:20

PR Blunder Over Labour MP's 'Pikey' Tweet

Shadow cabinet minister Jack Dromey has become embroiled in a race row after calling a post worker a "pikey" on Twitter.

On a visit to a Royal Mail sorting office, he posted a picture of himself with one employee with the caption: "With Gareth Martin, the Pikey from the Erdington Royal Mail Sorting Office. A great guy!"

Hundreds of Twitter users pulled him up on the use of the word, with some threatening to report him to the police.

Since 2007 it has been possible to be arrested for a racially aggravated offence for using the word "pikey", which is an offensive word used to refer to Irish travellers.

When Sky News approached the Labour party, a press officer said Mr Dromey had fallen victim to autocorrect, which had automatically switched the word "postie" for "pikey".

He pointed to other tweets made by Mr Dromey, referring to the Royal Mail employees he met as "posties".

However, minutes later this explanation was undermined by MrDromey himself.

He tweeted: "Don't panic, Mr Mainwaring. This morning's meeting was with Gareth, a Postie nicknamed after Corporal Pike from Dad's Army."

It is not the first time that the shadow minister has got into hot water on the social networking website.

Last month Mr Dromey, who is married to Labour's Deputy Leader Harriet Harman, made a link to a gay porn website one of his "favourites".

Labour sources said he had been trying to block the pages when he accidentally pressed the wrong button.

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