Ukip's calls to stop flying EU flag dismissed by Havant Borough Council

AN APPEAL by Ukip to stop a council from flying the European Union flag has been thrown out.

Tuesday, 1st November 2016, 5:55 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 4:24 pm
The EU flag

Hayling East councillor John Perry says that he was ‘disappointed but not surprised’ after his motion was defeated at a meeting of Havant Borough Council.

The blue flag with yellow stars is currently flown during the annual mayor-making ceremony in May, but the motion asked that the council no longer flies the EU flag, in respect of a majority Brexit vote from residents.

Havant’s other three Ukip councillors – John Davis, Malc Carpenter and Gary Kerrin – joined Cllr Perry by voting in favour of the motion.

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But the remaining 29 councillors at the meeting voted against it, with no councillors abstaining.

Cllr Perry told The News that the motion was ‘bound to fail’.

He said: ‘It was an unsurprising result, opposition groups never get motions passed. I’m grateful that the motion was at the very least debated, but I’m disappointed that it failed.’

Tony Briggs, deputy leader of the council, dismissed the motion as ‘another attempt of the anti-EU party to make mischief’.

Tory councillor Michael Wilson said: ‘This motion is totally misconceived. I am sorry that we have to give the motion so much oxygen.’

In Havant, 62.4 per cent of people voted to leave the EU in June’s referendum, but Labour councillor Beryl Francis argued that this figure is not representative of the borough.

She said: ‘I know that we are rather low voters. The number of people who actually voted is far below 50 per cent of Havant’s entire population of people who can vote.’

Following a lengthy debate, Cllr Davis said that he ‘was a bit sad to see that everyone is so against this’.

He said: ‘This vote is the highest vote we have ever had. We must show some signal to our electorate, they went out in their droves.’

Cllr Perry added: ‘I hope we can revisit the motion when we leave the union.’