Police Chairman concerned over pro-LGBT bias faces calls to resign

The Chairman of a panel that scrutinises Cheshire police has been urged to resign after questioning the decision of two senior staff to publicly show support for LGBT issues.

Bob Fousert said wearing the multi-coloured lanyards could ‘erode’ police impartiality and give the impression it is “favouring one section of the community over another”.

In response, Cheshire’s pro-LGBT Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane urged Fousert to resign “with immediate effect”.

Political statement

Julie Cooke, the national lead on LGBT issues for the National Police Chiefs’ Council, and Keane sported the lanyards at a recent panel meeting.

Keane claimed it “represents modern and inclusive public services”.

But Fousert asked: “Do you consider such an overt, political statement to be appropriate for a senior officer to wear given the police should be seen to be impartial in all it does?

“And what message do you think this sends to officers and staff in terms of integrity, leadership and objectivity as espoused by the constabulary’s code of ethics?”

Robust challenge

Fousert shrugged off Keane’s attacks and insists that he has “no intention” of stepping down from his role.

In a letter to Keane, he said: “It is unfortunate, even sad, that when someone makes an observation or comment with regards to LGBT issues they are often treated by some sections of the community like heretics, to be vilified, pilloried and castigated”.

“I will continue to carry out my responsibilities as an independent, co-opted panel member in robustly challenging and questioning you for the remainder of your tenure as the police and crime commissioner for Cheshire.”

Earlier this year, Cheshire Constabulary was graded the top police force by LGBT lobby group Stonewall.

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