Devon

MP defends 'Genghis Khan' traveller comments

Gary Streeter MP
Image caption Mr Streeter claimed he has "raised the issue in Westminster"

An MP who was quoted in a newspaper comparing members of the traveller community to Genghis Khan has defended his comments.

Conservative Gary Streeter told the Plymouth Herald a group who parked their caravans in a local park were "a nuisance" and "intruders".

He told the BBC his reference to the Mongolian invader was meant to question their status as a vulnerable group.

"If people get upset by it, that's up to them," he said.

The MP for Devon South West was commenting on a group which set up camp at Trefusis Park in Lower Compton, Plymouth.

He was quoted in the Herald as saying: "They are as vulnerable as Ghengis Khan, most of them are as ethnic as I am, and all have permanent homes elsewhere in the UK."

Mr Streeter told the BBC his comment was a reference to travellers having vulnerable ethnic minority status.

He said he has called for this to be removed previously, and would continue to raise the issue in Westminster.

Councillor Philippa Davey told the newspaper Mr Streeter's comments were "irresponsible" and he was making "sweeping judgements" in "comparing people to Genghis Khan".

Mr Streeter claimed "they're not vulnerable, they're not ethnic, they all come from somewhere else in England".

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites