Northern Ireland news

SDLP councillor opposed to flying of flag to mark Prince Andrew's birthday

SDLP councillor Carl Whtye

AN SDLP councillor has opposed the flying of the Union flag from Belfast City Hall to mark Prince Andrew's 60th birthday.

Carl Whyte, who represents the Castle area, described the flying of the flag as an "immoral position".

The Duke of York, who turns 60 on February 19, has stepped back from royal duties following his involvement in the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.

He is one of ten members of the royal Family whose birthdays have traditionally been marked by the flying of the flag on government buildings.

The UK government said it would be advising local councils that there is no requirement to fly the flag that day but it is unclear how the decision impacts on Northern Ireland.

"I think it would be a very sinister state of affairs if we are required to fly flags from public buildings celebrating the birthday of a man who faces some very serious accusations which he has failed to address," Mr Whyte told the BBC.

Ulster Unionist councillor Jim Rodgers however has said he "firmly believed" the flag should be flown.

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Northern Ireland news