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Newspaper publisher blasts police after arrest in connection with MP hate crime

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A newspaper publisher was pulled over in his car by armed police and arrested in connection with suspected hate crimes against his local MP.

Four police cars were used to pull over Danny Lockwood, owner and publisher of the Dewsbury Press, on the A64 in West Yorkshire last week.

A report in the Press said that Lockwood was handcuffed and taken to York police station before being transferred to Dewsbury, where he was questioned about three hate crimes against Dewsbury MP Paula Sherriff – thought to involve swastikas being deposited at her office.

Lockwood, a former rugby league player who was travelling back last Monday having just appeared on the BBC’s Politics Live programme, said his arrest came despite Sherriff’s staff telling police he had not committed the crimes and that a clear CCTV image of the suspect was not Lockwood.

But Kirklees Police commander Chief Supt Julie Sykes told the MP there were still “sufficient grounds” to regard Lockwood as a suspect.

Lockwood claims he was held for more than nine hours before being questioned, then released on bail and made to find his own way 25 miles to retrieve his car.

Sherriff said she had made a complaint about the police’s actions.

She said: “I’m frankly shocked at reports that an arrest was made by armed police. It’s an alarming step to have taken based on no legitimate line of investigation that I or my staff are aware of and I have raised my serious concerns about this with the police.”

Lockwood added: “My conscience is completely clear but what bothers me is that Julie Sykes thinks she can get away with doing this to innocent people.

“Not to put too fine a point on things, but I’m reasonably well known around Dewsbury. And Sykes thinks I’d jeopardise my career and reputation by doing something as stupid as that?”

Four years ago, Lockwood – who has also worked for the Yorkshire Post – had a conviction for headbutting a man outside a Dewsbury pub overturned by a judge.

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