MP slams police over racism investigation

EAST WORTHING and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton says “common sense has gone out of the window” after police pursued an allegation of racism against him for six months.

W51831H12 WH TIM LOUGHTON SURGERY PIC S.G. 15.12.2012 MP Tim Loughton at Lancing Childrens Centre on Saturday morning

Mr Loughton was contacted “out of the blue” by Sussex Police last year after a constituent had complained he had been racially abused after the MP referred to him as “unkempt”.

He says he was then subjected to a 90-minute interview under caution regarding the allegation, which was eventually dropped.

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He is now seeking answers from Sussex Police as to why such an “extraordinary” complaint was pursued for so long.

Mr Loughton said: “I received a call from police saying they would like to speak to me.

“I thought it was going to be a friendly chat but it turned into a 90-minute interview under caution at Worthing custody suite.

“I expected that to be the end of it, but was told the investigation would be ongoing. It was not so much humiliating but surprising to be there.”

The MP argues that the case was a waste of taxpayer’s money .

He said: “The key thing is that I don’t expect to be treated any differently than any of my constituents.

“I am a big supporter of the police but common sense has gone out of the window. Many constituents will agree that it was a waste of time and money.”

For the full story, see the Herald, out Thursday, March 7.