Tory peer allegedly kicked kung fu student

POLICE are investigating claims that a kung fu student was kicked on the bottom by Lord Tebbit during Chinese New Year festivities.

POLICE are investigating claims that a kung fu student was kicked on the bottom by Lord Tebbit during Chinese New Year festivities.

The allegation surrounds an incident which happened in Bury St Edmunds during the annual Chinese New Year celebrations last week when Lord Tebbit, who moved into his �1million townhouse last year, was concerned about noise close to his house.

Eyewitnesses yesterday claimed the peer, once widely touted as the natural successor of Margaret Thatcher as Tory leader, tried to stop the drumming and kicked a dancing lion on the bottom during the event.

We can today reveal the person allegedly kicked was not a child as reported elsewhere, but an experienced 28-year-old kung fu student from the Sudbury area.

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The festivities, which have been part of the town's event calendar for the past two decades, were taking place outside Patrick Chung's Canton Restaurant in Hatter Street when Lord Tebbit, who last year moved into nearby Churchgate Street, appeared on the scene.

Those present claimed Lord Tebbit was concerned about the noise and tried to stop the drumming and then kicked out at one of the two dancing lions.

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David Skates, sifu at the Golden Dragon Martial Arts Club in Newton, near Sudbury, said his student had laughed about the incident afterwards.

“It was a nothing incident,” said Mr Skates. “We didn't know who it was at the time, but somebody tried to disrupt the dance. The lion dancers are all very hardened kung fu experts. They hardly noticed it. To them, it was just someone making it more interesting.

“Nobody was upset by it and it gave us a little smile. When we heard it was Norman Tebbit we all laughed. Hopefully he wasn't upset by it. They are loud those drums.”

Patrick Chung, who has organised the Chinese New Year celebrations in Bury St Edmunds for the past 20 years, said: “There was a little upset. It caused a little disruption in the celebrations.

“Afterwards, when I went around and saw Norman Tebbit, it was all sorted out and the matter is finished.”

Suffolk police said it was looking into the matter. A spokeswoman for the police said: “We have been informed of an incident which occurred on Hatter Street on Tuesday evening and at this stage inquiries are being made.”

Lord Tebbit, who was not at home yesterday, is reported to have said: “I will not be taking this any further. I did also apologise for my behaviour.''

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