Stockport Lib Dems have stopped an attempt by to prevent market traders handing out red roses on St George’s Day.
“When I was told about this on Friday, I thought the idea was completely daft and I asked it to be sorted out right away,” said Cllr Iain Roberts, who has responsibility for the market.
“Senior council officers agreed and, within an hour, the record had been put straight, and the issue resolved.”
The issue came about when junior council officers misinterpreted election law. The law says that councils can’t campaign for political parties. Going by an old legal ruling, the junior officials told market traders that handing out red roses during the local elections could be interpreted as campaigning for Labour, as Labour’s symbol is the red rose.
“It was completely ludicrous,” said Iain. “There was no political campaigning, just market traders doing something special for St George’s Day at Stockport’s historic market hall. Senior council officers agreed and the whole thing was quickly sorted out, but it should never have been an issue in the first place. I’m proud to mark England’s national day and I’m proud of Stockport’s historic market.”