Haverhill mayor defends palace snub

Haverhill mayor Cllr Pat Hanlon (left) with deputy mayor Roger Andr�
Haverhill mayor Cllr Pat Hanlon (left) with deputy mayor Roger Andr�
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Haverhill mayor Pat Hanlon has defended his decision to reject a potential invite to Buckingham Palace as a ‘personal preference’.

Cllr Hanlon chose not to enter a ballot of Suffolk’s town council after each was invited to put forward their mayor for an invite to the palace.

Last year’s mayor and Cllr Hanlon’s labour colleague Maureen Byrne also turned down an invited to the palace during her tenure.

Cllr Byrne also did not wear her mayoral robes for the Remembrance Sunday parade through the town, while Cllr Hanlon agreed to despite initial reluctance after a request from the Royal British Legion.

Despite it being the second successive year the invite was declined, Cllr Hanlon insisted it is not Labour Party policy in Haverhill to reject the Queen.

“It’s just personal preference really – we don’t really feel that it’s for us,” he said.

“We’re not republicans, we just prefer not to go there.

“I represent a lot of people on my ward and I don’t know all their personal views but I don’t think they will be that upset if I don’t go to the palace.”

The town council agreed to nominate Cllr Betty McLatchy to go to the palace instead.

The next Haverhill Town Council meeting is at the arts centre at 7pm on Tuesday (February 26).

For all the latest news see Thursday’s (February 28) Echo.