Police officers wearing Union Jack badges in tribute to PC David Phillips who was killed on duty were allegedly ordered to remove them – because they might cause “offence”.

Metropolitan Police officers were reportedly told not to wear the ‘thin blue line’ badges – a Union jack flag with a blue line through it – because it “could cause offence to some within certain communities”.

Ken Marsh, chairman of the Met Police Federation constables’ branch, confirmed an email had been sent round at the time of PC Phillips’ death saying “the badge may be seen as some sort of political statement”.

PC Phillips, 34, was killed in a hit-and-run in the early hours of October 5 in Wallasey, Merseyside.

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