Fascist Clown to sue Merseyside police for flying the rainbow flag
A FAR-RIGHT politician is to sue Merseyside police for flying a gay rights flag above a police station.
English Democrat Paul Rimmer, who recently failed in his bid to become mayor of Liverpool, was arrested in May after an argument in Toxteth’s Admiral Street police station over the flying of the iconic rainbow flag.
He answers police bail later this month, but has served the police with papers stating his intention to mount a private prosecution.
City leaders today condemned Mr Rimmer’s actions and praised the police for flying the flag on International Day Against
But Mr Rimmer, 49, claims the police needed planning permission to fly anything other than a national flag or that of a saint under the terms of the Town and Country Planning Act.
He also claims that flying the rainbow flag may have been an act of sexual orientation discrimination contrary to the Equality Act 2010.
Today Mr Rimmer denied he was homophobic, saying: “The police are supposed to represent all sections of society and not discriminate in favour of particular groups.”
Mr Rimmer was arrested in May after an argument with a female member of staff behind the counter in the police station. He quoted a well-known extract from the book of Leviticus in the Bible at her.
After leaving the station, he was approached by two police officers and told he was being arrested. Mr Rimmer, who says he is a devout Christian, said he was arrested on suspicion of committing a homophobic hate crime.
He was then driven to Belle Vale police station and held in cells for almost six hours before being released on bail.
Today deputy council leader Paul Brant said: “These are bonkers views. The rainbow flag was flown on International Day Against Homophobia, which is marked right across the world, and the police should be praised for their impulsivity.
“The English Democrats were rejected at the recent elections and we should focus on what unites us rather than divides us.”
Liberal group leader Cllr Steve Radford described Mr Rimmer’s views as “bigoted fantasy”.
He added: “If Mr Rimmer has a problem with the flag shown on police stations, it says a lot about his personal hang-up.
“There has been a change in the attitude of Merseyside police. Thirty years ago, some officers’ attitude towards gay people in the city was bad.
“Flying the Idaho flag above police stations shows a substantial change in the police, which should be celebrated.”
Liverpool council, which oversees planning control, said it will take no action against the police.
A Liverpool council spokesman said: “We take a sensible and measured view of the flying of temporary flags.
“In this instance, a well-known symbol was being displayed for a limited period of time at Admiral Street police station – and also at a number of other public buildings in the city – which we are able to permit.”
A police spokesman said: “Merseyside police can confirm notification has been received by the force of an intended private prosecution and/or civil proceedings in relation to specified flags being flown on police authority property.
“Currently, inquiries are being made in relation to this matter and as such it would be inappropriate to comment any further.”
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