Belfast City Council is reviewing its decision to remove ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ audition posters after the chief equality commissioner said he did not think it was necessary.
Some council staff complained about the posters on council property because the design contains the Union Flag.
A senior council official circulated an email internally on November 14, saying: ”It has been pointed out that the recent poster advertising the Britain’s Got Talent event has on it a Union Jack. As this may contravene the council’s good and harmonious policy these posters should not be displayed.”
Former lord mayor, DUP Alderman Brian Kingston, said he could understand why officials might feel obliged to act when some staff raise a complaint.
“But I have to say that first and foremost these events are good for Belfast, that auditions for the show are taking place here,” he said. “So I would have to say I am disappointed that some people made an issue about this.”
Equality Commission Chief Commissioner Michael Wardlow called the Nolan Show on Monday to say that while he was not personally involved in the case, on the basis of the information available he would not have supported the posters being removed.
He said that equality legislation does not require the creation of completely “neutral” working environments.
On Tuesday the commission told the News Letter that the council had since been in touch and that it had provided it with guidance on “a good and harmonious working environment”.
Belfast City Council said: “Following some concerns raised by a number of staff, an email was issued asking that the posters in question not be displayed.”
It added: “We will be reviewing the circumstances surrounding this incident and seeking to ensure our policies and the implementation of same are consistent with best practice and advice.”