COUNCIL BREACHED EQUALITY SCHEME OVER UNION FLAG DECISION, SAY DUP

Union flag flying from Belfast City Hall on Wednesday

Union flag flying from Belfast City Hall on Wednesday

THE DUP has launched a first challenge against Belfast City Council’s decision to only fly the Union flag on designated days.

On Friday, the party said it was submitting a formal complaint to the Council over its decision to only fly the flag on 17 days of the year.

The first was on Wednesday, January 9 to mark the birthday of the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton.

The next date for the flying of the flag is on January 20, the birthday of the Duchess of Wessex.

The DUP group on the council claimed the process made multiple breaches of the council’s own equality scheme.

The cost of policing protests and disorder during the first two weeks of the street campaign was around £4 million.

It said it was lodging a complaint with the council was “the first step towards a formal complaint to the Equality Commission and ultimately possible legal action”.

It added: “The DUP is committed to pursuing all political avenues to overturning the disastrous decision by Sinn Fein, SDLP and the Alliance party and to repairing the harm to good relations and a shared future it has caused.”

On December 3 last year, a full meeting of the council voted 29-21 to only fly the Union flag on designated days.

The vote was taken on a compromise motion put forward by the Alliance Party.

The decision has sparked widespread street protests across the province over the following 40 days.

And in east Belfast, rioting lasted for five nights since last Friday. Over 100 people have been charged with public order offences and some 66 police officers have been injured.

 

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