Labour Mayor Orders Removal of British Flags Put Up to Celebrate Brexit

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A Labour party mayor who ordered the removal of British flags raised to celebrate Brexit has complained of racism, sparking a police investigation.

Mayor of Penzance Nicole Broadhurst, of the left-wing Labour party, had said 18 Union Jacks raised on flagpoles on Penzance Promenade in Cornwall by a private citizen or citizens to celebrate the end of the Brexit “transition” period and a true break between Britain and the United Kingdom and European Union — shortcomings in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s deal with the bloc notwithstanding — would be taken down because they were not authorised by the authorities.

“Penzance council didn’t authorise these or have anything to do with their installation. We are working with Cornwall Council and the flags will be taken down,” Broadhurst insisted after they were raised.

“If they were Peppa Pig flags or Saint Piran flags or EU flags they would still have to come down if no permission had been given for them to be put up,” she claimed.

Now, however, police say they are ” investigating a report that racist comments had been posted online about a member of the community”, with London-born Mayor Broadhurst, who is black, alleging that her statement on the flags has resulted in her receiving abuse, such as “you’re an incomer, go back to where you came from.”

“I think I became a conduit for the anger that is out there, which is puzzling. The people who are angry won, they won Brexit. They got what they wanted, why are they still cross?” she said in comments quoted by the left-wing Guardian.

“The flags on Penzance Promenade are usually put up around the time of the Golowan [Midsummer] Festival until the end of summer, helping to define our town’s positive spirit and bring joy to those enjoying our wonderful seafront,” added local politicians on behalf of the town council, in a statement posted online.

“The flags which were put up on New Year’s Day have been removed because they were flown without the permission of Cornwall Council or Penzance Council,” the council confirmed.

They added that they were “deeply saddened at the offensive and personal comments, including racist abuse, made in response to the removal of the flags; unity and community spirit are needed in these uncertain times rather than division and negativity.”

Mayor Broadhurst also retweeted messages from a Cornish campaign group expressing sympathy and demanding “a thorough investigation by our police into the terrible racism directed at an elected person & for the mainstream media to adopt a more responsible approach to reportage & the manner in which it moderates its comment columns.”

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