DUP's Edwin Poots calls for review of union flag policy at Stormont

Edwin Poots Edwin Poots says there needs to be a review of the arrangements for flying the union flag at Stormont

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Northern Ireland Health Minister Edwin Poots has said unionists want to review arrangements for flying the union flag at Stormont.

Four police officers were injured during loyalist violence in Carrickfergus on Wednesday night.

It is linked to Belfast City Council's decision to stop flying the union flag at City Hall every day.

Mr Poots condemned the violence saying MLAs should look at the possibility of flying the flag more often at Stormont.

The policy on flying the union flag at City Hall in Belfast is the same as that agreed by the parties at Stormont. It is flown on 18 designated days a year, such as the Queen's birthday.

Mr Poots said a review of the arrangements at Stormont was required.

"It now is an issue and I think it is something that we do need to look at and we will look at," he said.

"We need to identify a sustainable position on that and that is something we will be giving thought to over the course of the next number of weeks.

"That is something that I think has now been opened up as a consequence of what has happened at the City Hall.

"We will look at the situation at Stormont and if it is feasible that we can fly the national flag on more days than is currently the case, that is something we will look at."

Four police officers were injured on Wednesday night during loyalist violence in Carrickfergus, County Antrim.

Alliance properties, including the home of two councillors in Bangor, County Down, were also attacked.

Nationalists had wanted the flag at City Hall taken down altogether, but on Monday night voted on a compromise from the Alliance party that it would fly on designated days.

The vote was 29 to 21, with unionists accusing Sinn Fein, the SDLP and Alliance of attacking their cultural identity.

Fifteen police officers were injured during rioting at City Hall on Monday night, following the passing of the vote.

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