BBC journalist called ‘paki’ by Brexit supporter

Sima Kotecha becomes latest target of racist abuse following Brexit


News Desk June 29, 2016
PHOTO: BBC RADIO 4/ TODAY via Independent

A high-profile BBC reporter has become the latest target of racist abuse after a string of anti-immigrant xenophobia was reported to police following Friday’s EU referendum result.

Sima Kotecha, a reporter for BBC Radio 4 Today programme, was racially abused in her home town of Basingstoke during a discussion with an unnamed man about Brexit.

Kotecha had visited the Hampshire town to ask why voters there chose Brexit. Fifty-two per cent of residents had voted to leave the EU in a result mirroring the overall percentage of leave votes across the UK.

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In a report broadcast on Tuesday, a man in a Basingstoke pub was heard using the racially offensive term, ‘Paki’, while explaining why he was pleased about the referendum result.

“I think all the immigrants, they should leave the country, you know what I mean?” the man told Kotecha.

When asked if he was referring to Eastern Europeans living in Britain, he replied, “Yeah, like I’m not saying Pakis as, like, I’m saying like all of them.”

Kotecha then asked if he had indeed said ‘Pakis’, to which he replied, “No, I don’t mean - sorry love.”

When told the term was offensive, the man said, “Yeah I know. No, I didn’t mean to come across… it’s all them ... they’re not foreigners. We all bleed the same, we’ve got the same heart, just different coloured skins, you know what I mean?”

However, when asked if he didn’t like Asians, the man insisted that he did like them and denied that he was racist. “I know I used Paki but I could come up with more offensive [words], you know what I mean? I’m not like that. I’m not racist at all in any shape or way.”

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Following the incident, Kotecha tweeted, saying, “In utter shock: just been called p**i in my hometown! Haven't heard that word here since the 80s..!”



Many took to Twitter, condemning the use of the word.









Labour MP Paula Sherriff also tweeted saying the abuse was “absolutely shocking”, adding that she was aware of similar incidents near her.

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Another Labour MP, Alison McGovern, called the abuse “absolutely horrific”.



After the outpouring of support, Kotecha tweeted again saying she was proud to be British.



https://twitter.com/sima_kotecha/status/747438667451469825

This article originally appeared on Independent

COMMENTS (20)

Rustam | 5 years ago | Reply @Rahul: My freind, you are seen making racial comments frequently. If you really wish to serve your nation do some positive work. FYI, India had the highest number of people trapped in slavery at 18.35 million in the world, according to the 2016 Global Slavery Index released by Walk Free Foundation on May 28, 2016. Instead of posing nose here and there should not you give some time and work for the so big number of poor slaves in your own country.
Rustam | 5 years ago | Reply @Qamar Valliani: Do you really need this veiled racist guy using a fake name?
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