BBC Breakfast: Charlie Stayt pokes fun at Robert Jenrick's flag
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As things stand, the flag is only required to be flown on certain designated days. However, new guidance from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will ask for the Union Flag’s presence to become a permanent feature.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said flying the flag would be a “proud reminder of our history and the ties that bind us”.
Announcing the decision, he said: “The Union flag unites us as a nation and people rightly expect it to be flown above UK Government buildings.
“This guidance will ensure that happens every day, unless another flag is being flown, as a proud reminder of our history and the ties that bind us.”
Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick has written to all councils in England in a bid to encourage them to fly the flag on their buildings.
He said: “Our nation’s flag is a symbol of liberty, unity and freedom that creates a shared sense of civic pride.
“People rightly expect to see the Union Flag flying high on civic and Government buildings up and down the country, as a sign of our local and national identity.
“That’s why I am calling on all local councils to fly the Union Flag on their buildings – and today’s guidance will enable them to do that.
“We’ve also cut red tape, allowing councils to also fly their county flag at the same time.”
Previously the Union Flag had to be flown on its own pole, but the new guidance will allow dual flagging.
The announcement comes just days after Mr Jenrick was mocked by the hosts of BBC Breakfast for having the Union Flag in his office.
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The flag was clearly visible in the background of his office while he took part in the virtual interview.
BBC’s Charlie Stayt and Naga Munchetty were criticised for their remarks with the BBC admitting it had received complaints from people who were “unhappy” with the actions of the TV hosts.
A group of 17 backbench MPs wrote to the head of the BBC criticising the dismissive jibes made about the flag.
In the letter coordinated by Bassetlaw MP Brendan Clarke-Smith, a former teacher, the MPs said: “We have been inundated with complaints from constituents on this matter.
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“We feel that the hosts need reminding that the B in BBC stands for British and that the comments and attitudes on display towards both our flag and our Queen were inappropriate and also disrespectful.”
They demanded both presenters be made to apologise for their remarks.
The letter said: “We, therefore, feel that the behaviour in this instance was inappropriate and fell below the high standards expected at the BBC.
“We would therefore ask that both Mr Stayt and Ms Munchetty are reprimanded for this behaviour and would ask them to apologise for their conduct.”
Following the complaints, the BBC said Charlie Stayt made “an off the cuff remark” at the end of “a long, serious interview”.
“Naga and Charlie have been spoken to and reminded of their responsibilities, including the BBC’s impartiality and social media guidelines,” a statement added.
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