Taxi driver loses appeal to display Cross of St George - MP calls for change in flag policy
A taxi driver banned by a council from displaying a flag of the Cross of St George on his vehicle has lost his appeal – and his MP is now calling for councillors to change their rules.
John Brockhurst, a taxi driver and military veteran from near Market Drayton, was told to remove the flag, along with a Union Jack and regimental logo, from his hackney carriage back in October.
The decision, from Shropshire Council, was because the authority said it did not comply with the advertising policy that hackney carriages must not feature any "symbols, flags or emblems".
It has now emerged that Mr Brockhurst, who runs Basil's Taxi, has lost an appeal against the decision.
North Shropshire MP Helen Morgan said she has now written to Shropshire Councillors asking them to change rules which ban the display of national flags – including the St George’s Cross and Union Jack – in taxis across the county.
The MP has pointed out that the council's own policy says the Union Jack should be flown "on a daily basis unless otherwise directed" at council buildings.
In her letter to Shropshire Council Mrs Morgan says: "I am writing about Shropshire Councils’ flag flying policy which has impacted constituent and veteran, John ‘Basil’ Brockhurst, who runs 'Basil's Taxi' in Market Drayton.
"Basil prided himself on displaying the St George's Cross and the Union Flag on his taxi to pay tribute to the regiment and country he served for 40 years.
"He also used the flags to mark out his taxi among others, so that customers could spot him easily.
"Unfortunately, under the latest policy for carriage and private hire vehicles, the council have contacted John to ask him to remove the flags because they no longer comply with the policy which now prevents drivers from displaying any advertisements which include political symbols, flags, or emblems.
"I have recently been informed that Basil has lost his appeal with Shropshire Council.
"I am sure that you will agree that a Union Jack and regimental flag cannot be considered political statements, not least because Shropshire Council itself rightly flies the Union Jack in front of all council buildings.
"The council’s own flag-flying policy rules that the Union Jack should be “flown on a daily basis unless otherwise directed” on these buildings.
"I am writing today because I strongly feel that this policy should be changed and this wrong put right. As members of Shropshire Council it is within your power to ensure that this happens."