British councillor says sorry after Indians rubbish claim

June 12th, 2008 - 4:59 pm ICT by IANS  

London, June 12 (IANS) A local authority councillor in London has been forced to apologise after blaming Indian immigrants for littering. Lucy Ivimy of the Hammersmith and Fulham local authority in west London was slammed after claiming in an email that Indians in an apartment block were throwing rubbish out of the window.

While such practice was “normal behaviour” in India, to do so in Britain was “not acceptable behaviour”, she said in the email.

Residents said there was no evidence Indians were tossing rubbish out of the window — or indeed that there were any Indians at the Woodford Court apartment block.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Ivimy said: “I am aware that some ill-advised comments of mine in a private email have been interpreted as something that I never meant and have given offence, for which I unreservedly apologise.

“I should stress that I have no idea who are the specific culprits, or even if they are estate residents.

“I never meant to imply that this sort of careless behaviour belongs specifically to any one particular group.”

Stephen Cowan, leader of the Labour group in the Tory-run council, said: “This shows her inherent prejudice.”

He said Ivimy, as a member of the council’s cabinet looking after housing, was responsible for 14,000 tenants’ homes and over 4,000 leaseholders’ homes and all the housing association homes in the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.

“Many of those people, like the whole of London, come from all sorts of backgrounds.”

Dang Sakares, who has lived on the apartment block for eight years, said: “I don’t think I’ve seen any Indian people in this block.”

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