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Suella Braverman demands answers after Met’s ‘Thin Blue Line’ ban sparks outrage

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Suella Braverman has furiously demanded answers from the Metropolitan Police force after it emerged it has banned officers policing London Pride from wearing a badge memorialising fallen colleagues.

The ‘Thin Blue Line’ badge, a black and white union jack with a thin blue line running horizontally, has a history dating back to the 19th century Crimean War, and is worn as a “mark of remembrance and respect” to officers who have died while serving.

At the weekend it was revealed the force has banned officers from wearing it, over concerns LGBT people attending Pride could be offended by the symbol.

While uncontroversial in the UK, the badge has emerged as a contentious symbol in the United States, where it has been adopted by right-wing groups often opposed to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman has now demanded answers.

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A source close to her has said: “The Home Secretary has concerns at the reported reasoning for officers being unable to wear the Thin Blue Line badge in honour of colleagues who have lost their lives in the line of duty”.

“She has asked for more information to understand what’s happened.”

Ms Braverman’s predecessor, Dame Priti Patel, said the advise had been issued as a result of “vested interest groups imposing political correction and false narratives on our hard-working police officers”.

She added the badge is a “mark of respect in policing of the sacrifices our police officers make for their service and the threats they face, day in, day out”.

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The Met Police said it would be examining the facts of the story today, however have been tight-lipped when approached for comment.

This afternoon a press officer for the force told the Express they have nothing more to add.

It officially issued advice to officers working at Pride said the badge has “been linked to far-Right and anti-trans groups in the UK and this year’s pride is focusing very much on the trans community”.

“This is non-negotiable and supervisors are expected to ensure this is adhered to please.”

Debbie Adlam, the mother of PC Andrew Harper who was killed during a burglary in 2019, said the badge is a symbol of her son’s “dedication to the force”.

She told the Mail on Sunday: “Since we lost Andrew we have considered the Thin Blue Line image to be a universal memorial to the loss of these officers”.

“It concerns me that there are those who want to take [the badge] away. I hope that today is not the start of the end for the Thin Blue Line and all it means to us in the UK.”

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