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England Flags Have Been Removed From A Polling Station After Complaints

The Electoral Commission said the flags did not breach any regulations, but the council took them down anyway.

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An EU referendum polling station in north London has removed a display of England flags after complaints from voters.

Christopher Lewis shared the photo of his local polling station in Mayfield Sports Centre, Palmers Green, on Twitter this morning.

He told BuzzFeed News that he was "surprised" to see the flags, and a TV with BBC News on, when he went to vote this morning.

"There were roughly 100 England flags on display – four or five rows of bunting – with a large St George's flag pinned up behind the polling officer by the window," he said.

Lewis, 29, from Palmers Green, said he asked the officer why there were flags in the building, but the presiding officer simply looked up at the flags, smiled, and replied, "Oh, I didn’t even notice it."

Concerned that the flags could potentially "impact the democracy of impartiality", Lewis said that he stepped back from the desk and took a photo of the scene – making sure not to compromise the secrecy of the ballot.

He posted the photo on Twitter, where many people shared his concerns, including one follower who immediately reported the polling station to Enfield council.

A spokesperson for the Electoral Commission told BuzzFeed News that the polling station did "not breach any restrictions" by showing the flags. Nevertheless officers were advised to remove the flags from display.

An Enfield council spokesperson said that the St George’s flags were hanging as part of the sports centre's celebration of the Euro 2016 football tournament in France.

"They were removed promptly this morning by Enfield council staff," the spokesperson added.

Fiona Rutherford is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Fiona Rutherford at fiona.rutherford@buzzfeed.com.

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