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'Gingerbread persons' backlash

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Gingerbread men have fallen victim to political correctness after bakers were ordered to rename them ginger people to stay sweet with the PC brigade. But a backlash has forced a rethink. The move to update the sweet treat angered shoppers and children at the Bakers Oven, Bull Ring, Kidderminster, which was accused of really taking the biscuit with a 'PC' step too far.

The store advertises 'ginger persons' priced 45 pence and the biscuit comes decorated in three colours, brown, blue and red.

Staff correct those asking for a gingerbread man by saying they no longer sell them and can only offer a ginger person. The Bakers Oven, Stafford also sells gingerbread people.

Office worker Darren Ellis, aged 36, of Kidderminster, said: "I just think it's political correctness gone mad. What harm could the phrase gingerbread man do to any one. Generations of biscuit lovers have grown up with the gingerbread man.

"Why on earth should we have to start differentiating between a male and female biscuit? "My little niece loves asking for a gingerbread man. How are we going to explain that he no longer exists?"

The store manager, who refused to be named, said: "It's just a step too far. We have schoolchildren coming in who have asked for a gingerbread man for years.

"Now I have to tell them they can't have a gingerbread man and they can only have a ginger person. It is just silly really as the gingerbread man has been around for years. You can't discriminate against a biscuit."

A West Midlands regional area manager decided to change the name to "ginger person" without the approval of head office Greggs in Nottingham.

Head office said names would be changed back as soon as possible.

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Spokesman for Greggs, Peter Woodall, said: "A regional manager took the decision to introduce ginger person in some stores in the West Midlands area.

"We don't know why this has happened but we will be speaking to the manager to make sure the name is reverted to gingerbread man. The gingerbread man has been around for 200 years and we have always called it by that name.

"It is popular with customers and children and we want them to continue to ask for gingerbread men."

By Sol Buckner

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