Prince Philip: MP dismisses accusations of ‘publicity-seeking’ after request to fly flags at half mast

A DUP MP dismissed claims she was ‘publicity-seeking’ after she wrote to an NI council requesting flags fly at half-mast in respect of Prince Philip.

Monday, 12th April 2021, 4:12 pm

Upper Bann MP Carla Lockhart came under attack on social media after she published a letter to the Chief Executive of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council.

The letter, signed by fellow DUP councillors and MLAs Jonathan Buckley and Diane Dodds, had requested the union flag be raised to half mast on civic buildings and towns and villages in the borough.

On social media Mrs Lockhart was accused of ‘publicity-seeking’ and that the council already has protocol to fly flags at half-mast when a senior member of the royal family dies.

Prince Philip

Mrs Lockhart said: “The letter sent to the Chief Executive by my MLA, Council colleagues and I had two clear requests.

“One, that the flag be flown at half-mast in our local towns and villages, in addition to the public buildings under control of the Council that I was fully aware are covered by Protocol in these circumstances. It is fact that such a tribute in towns and villages is not covered by Protocol.

“The second request was that Council open a Book of Condolence to allow the public to express their sympathies to the Royal Family at this time of national mourning. This is not covered by any Protocol.

“I know that my requests met with the approval of the vast majority of my constituents who appreciated the flags being flown in their local communities, and the opening of the Book of Condolence.

Carla Lockhart delivers her maiden speech.

“It is a common occurrence for the best endeavours of public representatives to be met with half-truths and smears. However, the fact that these ‘usual suspects’ would seek to use the death of a much loved member of our Royal Family to attack my colleagues and I will only reinforce the widely held perception of the said individuals concerned,” said Carla.

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