Relish row is Hend-over

Lewsham MP Jim Dowd in Hendo's row.
Lewsham MP Jim Dowd in Hendo's row.
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All we were saying was give Hendo’s pie and peas a chance...

It seems the rift between Sheffield’s favourite sauce makers and South London MP Jim Dowd has been brought to an end with a humble pastry treat.

Mr Dowd caused a storm after accusing Henderson’s Relish of copying Lea & Perrins’ Worcestershire Sauce in the House of Commons last week.

Proud Sheffielders and Henderson’s lovers everywhere relished the prospect to jump to the brand’s defence.

The furore looked set to drag on as the politician ignored repeated demands for an apology – which came from everyone from cult Sheffield band The Everly Pregnant Brothers to Deputy Prime Minister and Sheffield MP Nick Clegg.

But a letter from Simon Freeman, Henderson’s managing director, inviting Mr Dowd to Sheffield for pie, peas and lashings of Hendo’s, has helped draw a line under the whole affair.

Mr Freeman’s letter read: “Your comments seem to have caused a storm in Sheffield and South Yorkshire.

“We are simply Henderson’s, our own unique brand with our own unique taste.

“We certainly don’t consider ourselves a substitute for Lea & Perrins’.

“We’d like to invite you to Sheffield for pie, peas and lashings of Hendo’s. I would love to talk small businesses, local pride and of the proud history of Henderson’s with you.”

Mr Dowd’s response expressed his ‘amazement’ at the backlash, which has included threats of violence.

He maintained his ‘copy’ criticism was based purely on the similarities in the packaging of the product.

Despite this, he has shown he has bottle by agreeing to a trip to Sheffield to meet with directors.

He has also offered to act as an ambassador for the ‘excellent’ product in London.

Mr Dowd’s spokesman said he still does not wish to speak publicly or to The Star on the issue.

But perhaps he should bring the idea of peas talks to future Commons’ debates.