Socialist Worker

Wheeler deals a racist blow in anti-Irish email outburst

Issue No. 2660

Wheeler has a roof over her head, and doesnt care who knows it

Wheeler has a roof over her head, and doesn't care who knows it (Pic: Heather Wheeler MP Office)

Tory homelessness minister Heather Wheeler is a racist.

In a recently unearthed email from October 2017 she described street sleepers in her South Derbyshire constituency as “the traditional type, old tinkers, knife-cutters wandering through”.

“Tinker” is a racist term used against Irish Travellers.

“To think that a government minister is using this language is disgraceful,” said Michelle Gavin from the Friends, Families and Travellers organisation.

Wheeler’s outburst also displays a shocking level of ignorance at the reasons people sleep on the street. It is particularly shocking given Wheeler has claimed she will reduce street sleeping by 50 percent within five years.

Although officially no one in Wheeler’s constituency is sleeping rough, an ITV investigation found otherwise.

“I’d like to offer a sincere and heartfelt apology for my use of inappropriate language in an email in October 2017,” said Wheeler in a written statement.

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