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The Mayor of Basildon, David Burton-Sampson raised the rainbow flag outside the council offices on Friday 14th June, to celebrate Essex Pride, which took place this weekend. Whilst the mayor raised the flag, he had racist chants shouted at him.
The racist incident, which took place at St Martin’s Square in Basildon, was not discovered until video footage of the event was edited by the Council. The council shared the video on social media, but without sound.
David Burton Sampson wrote in a tweet:
“A proud moment but sadly with no sound as someone found it appropriate to shout racist abuse at me whilst I raised this symbol of equality and unity!”
Speaking to the Echo, the mayor said that the incident was “not acceptable” and that the comments were “nasty”.
Leader of Basildon Council, Gavin Callaghan wrote:
Conservative councillor, Jeff Henry tweeted in response to the mayor:
“Wow, that’s outrageous, I’m sorry you had to go through that today. I thought we’d left that kind of behaviour and thinking behind. Well done for flying the flag.”
The council have reported the racist incident to Essex Police as a hate crime.
Councillor Burton-Sampson spoke to Gateway 97.8 about raising the flag on Friday:
Image: Basildon Council Twitter feed.