Login Register

Labour and Conservative councillors clash over Harlow Council’s Union flag tribute to former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

By Harlow Star  |  Posted: April 17, 2013

Comments (6)

THE flag at Harlow Council’s Civic Centre headquarters is being flown at half mast today (Wednesday, April 17) as a mark of respect to former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Conservative councillors had demanded the gesture was made on the day of the late Baroness’s funeral, but the council’s Labour administration only complied after the Queen issued a “special command” to local authorities.

A council spokesman explained: “The protocol is that the Union Flag is only flown at half mast upon the death of the Sovereign or to mark the death of a former Prime Minister where the Queen issues a Special Command.

“The Queen has now issued a Special Command and the Union Flag will be flown outside the Civic Centre at half mast today.”

Earlier, Labour and Tory councillors clashed over the issue on social networking site Twitter.

Conservative leader Andrew Johnson blasted the Labour-controlled authority for “refusing” an earlier request from his group for the Union flag to be flown at half-mast - leading Labour’s Jon Clempner to stress that the mark of respect would only be made if and when the Queen requested it.

“Oh please Andrew!” he tweeted. “As you know the flag is only flown at half mast for the death of the sovereign or at her/his request.”

But Cllr Johnson hit back, accusing the Labour group of being “disrespectful”.

“Refusing to fly flag is disrespect. Insisting on order from queen for funeral day is disrespect. We would never have done same,” he tweeted.

Read more from Harlow Star

Do you have something to say? Leave your comment here...

max 4000 characters


  • Harlow Star  |  April 18 2013, 4:44PM

    You're right James, Lee Dangerfield took politics into the gutter and upset all councillors, Labour/Liberals and Tory. The boy's got talent Lol

  • Stevie  |  April 18 2013, 3:55PM

    Ed Balls

  • Harlow Star  |  April 18 2013, 10:58AM

    Says Lee Dangerfield...

  • Harlow Star  |  April 17 2013, 6:16PM

    Ding Dong

  • Harlow Star  |  April 17 2013, 1:18PM

    Should we be surprised by the lack of courtesy that emanates from our Civic Centre, or think that it's business as usual. The Tories are just as bad.They should have kept any remarks to themselves and let us, the voters, form our own opinion of the commissars who run our very own Kremlin. Red or Dead.

  • Harlow Star  |  April 17 2013, 1:05PM

    Nice to see the councillors are getting on so well. Nothing ever changes in Harlow Council. Am sure many officers hated to be told to lower the flag