Manchester

Cheshire Police panel chairman voted out over LGBT lanyard row

Bob Fousert
Image caption Bob Fousert was voted out as chairman by other panel members

A policing watchdog chairman who criticised a senior officer for wearing a rainbow lanyard has been voted out.

Bob Fousert, chairman of the Cheshire Police and Crime Panel, claimed it was "political" for the force's deputy chief constable to don LGBT neckwear.

Voting to remove him, Labour panel member Dave Thomspon said his comments were "appalling" and some of his language was "offensive".

Mr Fousert said he was the victim of a "politically motivated attack".

"This attack on me is being seen as politically motivated and fuelled by a hypocritical and synthetic angst," he added.

'Responsibility'

At a meeting that was specially convened at Mr Fousert's request, seven Labour panel members voted to remove him. Five voted to keep him in post.

Mr Thompson denied his vote was politically motivated.

He said: "By and large the chairman is a good man but when you chair a public body there comes a responsibility.

"He didn't articulate himself very well. He basically went on a personal attack against the deputy chief constable simply because she wore a rainbow coloured lanyard."

Mr Fousert, a lay member of the panel that oversees the force's police and crime commissioner, warned removing him as chairman would "severely erode the panel's credibility, independence and its ability to hold the PCC to account".

He was replaced as chairman by another lay member, but will remain a member of the panel.

Panel members unanimously voted to undergo equality and diversity training.

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