UKIP councillors push motion to end council display of EU flag

The EU flag

The EU flag

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UKIP councillors in Havant are calling for their borough’s Brexit vote to be represented by stopping flying the EU flag.

Havant Ukip leader Councillor John Perry has submitted the motion before Havant Borough Council’s meeting next week.

Ukip councillor John Perry

Ukip councillor John Perry

At the moment, the blue flag with yellow stars is flown during the annual mayor making ceremony in May.

But the motion asks for the council to stop displaying the flag, in light of the borough’s overwhelming leave vote in June’s referendum.

Cllr Perry, of the Hayling East ward, believes that the flag does not ‘give a positive message’ to the 62.4 per cent of pro-Brexit residents.

He said: ‘The country voted to leave the EU and Havant voted overwhelmingly.

‘I don’t believe that it’s appropriate to display the flag when the residents voted to leave.

‘It probably wasn’t even been appropriate before the referendum.’

The motion has been seconded by fellow Ukip councillor John Davis.

Cllr Perry says that the motion has received backing from Havant’s other Ukip councillors, Malc Carpenter and Gary Kerrin.

Cllr Davis says that the removal of the flag would be the ‘first indication’ to residents that the council is listening to them.

He said: ‘It would be a good signal to show what we have done.

‘Our loyalty is to queen and country and the union flag and to have the EU flag flying at equal prominence is wrong.’

Cllr Perry added: ‘The quicker we leave the EU, the quicker we make savings and start to reduce the demand for housing.’

Cllr Perry has predicted that Labour councillors will turn the motion down but said he was unsure on the Tories’ stance.

Cllr Anthony Briggs, deputy leader of Havant Borough Council, has argued that the motion has ‘nothing to do with Brexit’.

He said: ‘Personally I disagree with the motion. Havant is still in the European Union until such time that the prime minister exercises Article 50.’

Cllr Terry Hart, leader of Havant Labour, says that putting the motion forward feels like a ‘publicity stunt’.

He said: ‘It’s more of a reaction rather than a need to stop putting the flag up. Once we leave the EU, that’s when all of this should happen.’

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