A Conservative councillor and his acquaintance been caught on camera stealing anti-Brexit protesters’ European Union (EU) flags, which they then had to pay for after the police were involved.
Gedling councillor Sam Smith and Charlie Godwin, chair of Gedling’s Young Conservatives, snatched the flags outside their party’s conference in Manchester.
They were pursued by a woman called Elspeth, who owned the flags along with Steve Bray, the protester who has become known as “stop Brexit’ man” for his loud daily demonstrations outside parliament.
At one point, Elspeth is heard telling Smith she is going to report him to the police, at which point the councillor replied: “Good, crack on, I’ll report you to the anti-democracy police”.
Officers policing the conference then intervened in the row, which ended with Godwin handing cash over to Elspeth.
Femi Oluwole of the anti-Brexit Our Future Our Choice group, who posted the footage online, tweeted: “It’s that privileged sense of immunity from the law... You can see it in their face... They can admit to theft in front of police officers and know they’ll never face any real consequences.
“Like Tory leader, Like Tory member I suppose...”
Smith told the Gedling Eye: “I saw and removed what I believed were a couple of EU flags left abandoned from a protest.
“When we were told they belonged to someone I gave them back and they were given a small sum in recompense.
“I engaged in a low level act of direct action protest of my own to express my intense frustration at the refusal to accept the result of the referendum and I consider that people should be much more concerned about the theft of democracy.”