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Police panel chair ousted after objecting to rainbow lanyards

Nick Duffy July 6, 2019
Bob Fousert was ousted from the Cheshire Police and Crime Panel

Bob Fousert was ousted from the Cheshire Police and Crime Panel (Cheshire Police)

The chair of a local police oversight panel has been ousted, after he objected to officers wearing rainbow lanyards.

Bob Fousert was ousted from his role as chair of Cheshire’s Police and Crime Panel, after refusing to resign over comments he made at a meeting in June.

Police panel sacks chair over rainbow lanyard comments

The panel chair had complained that it was inappropriate for a senior officer to wear a rainbow lanyard because it is an “overtly political statement,” insisting: “LGBT, whether you like it or not, is a political issue.”

Fousert was removed from his role at a meeting on July 5, after losing a vote of no confidence 7-5.

Members also voted unanimously to implement diversity and inclusion training.

Despite being ousted as chair, Fousert will remain on the panel as an independent lay member.

Cheshire Police officers attending a Pride event
Cheshire Police officers attending a Pride event

According to the Northwich Guardian, Fousert said in a statement: “It is unfortunate, even sad, fact of life today that when someone makes an observational comment with regards to LGBT issues they are often treated like heretics, to be vilified, pilloried and castigated.”

He added: “This attack on me is being seen as politically motivated and fuelled by a hypocritical and synthetic angst.”

The official, who has specified that he has “a number of lesbian and homosexual relatives in my family,” previously warned that “police impartiality, the bedrock of policing, is being eroded by being seen to favouring one section of the community over another.”

Views ‘outdated and inappropriate’

Fousert’s views were previously condemned by the elected Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, David Keane, who urged him to resign.

Mr Keane said: “My view, as a representative of the residents of Cheshire, is unequivocally that your views are outdated and inappropriate and should not, and cannot, be seen to be the views of the panel.

“To allow such views to be seen to represent those of the police and crime panel could create a crisis of public confidence.

“The fact that you have made these statements as chairman of the panel has, I believe, brought the panel into disrepute.

“Therefore, I request that you consider resigning from the Cheshire police and crime panel with immediate effect.”

More: Crime, police, rainbow lanyard

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