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UK police panel chair asked to resign over ‘outdated’ anti-LGBTI views

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Bob Fousert, hair of the Cheshire police and crime panel | Picture: Cheshire Standard

A chairman of Cheshire’s police watchdog is facing growing calls to resign following ‘outdated’ remarks about officers supporting LGBTI rights.

Bob Fousert, chair of the Cheshire police and crime panel, claimed it was political for the force’s deputy chief constable to don LGBT neckwear.

But in open letters from Cheshire’s Police Crime Commissioner (PCC) and a local councillor have urged for Forset to resign.

What happened?

At a police and crime panel meeting on 14 June Fousert made the problematic comments.

He asserted that deputy chief constable Julie Cooke, who is also LGBTI lead of the force, ‘breached the duty of impartiality under the Police Regulations 2003.’

‘Whether you like it or not,’ Fousert said, ‘LGBT is a political issue.’

Several other blue light service workers chipped in to say they will continue to wear their rainbow lanyards.

‘Outdated and inappropriate.’

Following Fousert’s assertions, Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner, David Keane, penned a public letter calling for the chairperson’s resignation.

He dubbed Fousert’s views as ‘outdated and inappropriate.’

In addition, Keane wrote: ‘It’s clear that all public bodies have a duty to promote equality. I support the wearing of the rainbow lanyard and do not believe that this in any way represents either a “political issue” or an “issue of impartiality” in the way that Cheshire is policed.

‘It clearly represents a culture of openness, inclusivity and equality and I’m concerned that you do not recognise this and appear to have misinterpreted these matters.’

‘Disappointment, sadness, outrage’

Keane said he believed Fousert’s suggestion that Cooke should have been ‘subject to disciplinary action’ was ‘wholly inappropriate’ and ‘bought the panel into disrepute.’

Moreover, Keane continued that people that expressed ‘disappointment and sadness’ alongside ‘outrage’ regarding Fousert’s comments.

Meanwhile, Cooke commented on Twitter that she will ‘continue to show’ her support ‘for the LGBT+community both internally and externally. Visibility of my support is critical.’

‘Not a political statement; it is a legal obligation’

Doubling down on the calls in a public letter, local councillor Anthony Critchley called for Fousert to step down.

Moreover, wrote that the lanyards are ‘not a political statement; it is a legal obligation.’

Before adding that: ‘At a time when it is being reported that homophobic and transphobic hate crime has more than doubled over five years […] we believe that it is now more important than ever that our Police Service takes seriously its obligation to the LGBT community.

Furthermore, Gay Star News reached out to Cheshire Police for comment, but they declined.

Cheshire East Council, that manage the panel, and Fousert have been approached for comment.

Within local police forces in the UK, a police and crime commissioner is an elected official responsible for running a patch of police area.

While a police and crime panel scrutinises their actions. Panellists are mainly local councillors.

See also

UK police launch rainbow patrol car to make a stand against hate crime

UK told asylum seeker, raped by police, she can’t be gay as she has kids

Police appeal for help and information about missing UK trans woman

https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/uk-police-panel-chair-asked-to-resign-over-outdated-anti-lgbti-views/

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