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Scotland Yard investigating footage of police officers 'waving rainbow flags' during Brunei demonstration

A video of a peaceful demonstration outside the Sultan of Brunei's London home last month is being reviewed by police chiefs.

2019-04-11

Words: Will Stroude

Scotland Yard say they are investigating footage which appears to show three on-duty police officers waving rainbow flags during a protest against Brunei's recently-introduced law making gay sex punishable by stoning.

A video shared on Twitter by local political group Ealing Labour For Corbyn appears to show two police officers and one police community support officer 'taking part' in a protest outside a London mansion owned by the Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah last month.

The peaceful demonstration organised by Ealing Labour Party councillor Lewis Cox was attended by about 30 people, The Telegraph reports.

Now, the Metropolitan Police, which allows off-duty officers to take part in the Pride in London parade each year, says it will investigate whether rules regarding 'political imparitiality' for on-duty police have been broken.

Metropolitan Police officers taking part in the Pride in London parade in 2016.

Police rules state that "a member of a police force shall at all times abstain from any activity which is likely to interfere with the impartial discharge of his duties or which is likely to give rise to the impression amongst members of the public that it may so interfere; and in particular a member of a police force shall not take any active part in politics."

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "The MPS has been made aware of a recording on social media that shows officers at a demonstration in Ealing. The demonstration apparently took place on Saturday, March 30, outside the residence of the Sultan of Brunei.

"We are reviewing the images and will be speaking to the officers concerned to ascertain the circumstances.

"It is the policy of the MPS to police demonstrations without fear or favour and to remain impartial at all times."

Brunei's draconian new laws making gay sex for Muslims a capital offense punishable by stoning came into force last week, leading to calls from stars including George Clooney and Ellen DeGeneres to boycott luxury hotels owned by the Sultan, including The Dorchester in London and Berverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles.