A Sikh Labour candidate has reported his Tory opponent to the police after he told him he was "talking through his turban" at an election hustings this week.
Kuldip Sahota, who is running for Labour in Ludlow, said incumbent Tory Philip Dunne's remark constituted a hate crime. Sahota will be interviewed by West Mercia Police at the weekend, where he will provide a formal statement.
Sahota said: “The police have suggested Philip Dunne’s racist comment towards me could constitute a hate crime and I am formally reporting it as such.
“His comment about my turban was hateful. He shamed and humiliated me in a public attack on my faith and my community.
"He did not apologise until I called him out, and even when he did, he showed no humility, no self reflection and no understanding of why his words were racist. He is not fit to be an elected representative in our diverse, multicultural country.”
BuzzFeed News reported on Thursday that Dunne had apologised "for the offence caused" by his comment. The Conservative Party has declined to suspend him as a candidate.
Dunne was however condemned by the Sikh Tories group, who said: "We're disappointed by the offensive remarks made by Philip Dunne at the Ludlow hustings. These comments are simply unacceptable."
Labour's Tan Dhesi, the first turban-wearing Sikh MP in Britain, said:
“Boris Johnson said Conservative members who make racist comments are ‘out first bounce’. Once again, Boris Johnson was clearly lying.
“Philip Dunne hasn’t demonstrated any understanding of why his comment was racist. It’s a disgrace that the Conservatives are standing by someone who has publicly attacked the Sikh community. In doing so, Boris Johnson is sending the message that it’s okay to be racist towards British Sikhs and to openly shame and humiliate us in public forums.
"Philip Dunne should be immediately suspended from the Conservative Party and stripped of the honour the Tory leadership gave him this year.”
Dunne and West Mercia Police have been contacted for comment.