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British peer held for abusing Sikh cabbie

A British peer has been arrested for “racially” abusing a Sikh taxi driver by calling him a “Hindu” in Oxfordshire, a senior police officer said.

A British peer has been arrested for “racially” abusing a Sikh taxi driver by calling him a “Hindu” in Oxfordshire, a senior police officer said.

The Marquess of Blandford, James Spencer-Churchill, was arrested following a complaint by Sikh cabbie Davinder Singh who had driven to pick him up from his farmhouse for an appearance at a court, the Daily Mail reported on Thursday, quoting the officer as saying.

However, the 51-year-old peer, the son of the 11th Duke of Marlborough, is out on bail pending further probe.

“When I saw the Marquess of Blandford on the order, I was thinking he would be a polite gentleman but he is just a racist and there is no excuse for that,” the daily quoted the taxi driver as saying.

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“It was just unbelievable. I can put up with rudeness but not racism. I was having trouble finding his house, so I called him up. He not only abused me on the phone but also called me a Hindu when I arrived,” he alleged.

According to Singh, the 51-year-old son of the 11th Duke of Marlborough also told him that he should remember that he was a guest in the United Kingdom and not a British. “I was completely shocked. I replied that I was a British.”

Singh, who has been a taxi driver for over 25 years, said it was then that he turned down the 120 pounds fare and drove off. “I would not take it. Even if it was the Prime Minister, I would not take him if he spoke to me like that.”

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The cabbie also claimed that the peer had threatened him. “He told me I would never work for the cab company again. It was like he was saying he could do anything because he was rich and I am poor,” he said, adding that he might launch a claim for damages in the court.

NRI gets party post

London: Britain’s Conservative party chief David Cameron on Thursday appointed NRI Kulveer Ranger as the party’s new Vice-Chairman for Cities. Ranger (31) is also on the list of potential candidates for Members of Parliament. A senior management consultant for the Nichols Group, Ranger is part of the core team responsible for the management and implementation of the transport Oyster Card.

First published on: 10-08-2007 at 12:04:44 am
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