A photographer has hit out at the mayor of a town in Hampshire who objected to pictures of her posing with an Olympic torchbearer and asked for them to be erased.

Lymington Town Mayor Jacqueline England pictured (left) with the torchbearer on Saturday

Picture credit: Stan Green

Photographer Stan Green clashed with Lymington Town Mayor Jacqueline England after the torch had been paraded through the streets last Saturday [14 July 2012].

Green – an amateur who has sold images for publication – said he was standing in a public place on the quayside when he decided to take photos of the mayor and torchbearer who were accompanied by an ‘official photographer’.

Olympic hopes dashed

The retired architect said he had missed the chance to take photos earlier in the day due to the ‘crowd crush’.

‘My ambition turned into a nightmare,’ Green told Amateur Photographer (AP). ‘The mayor saw me, and angrily approached saying I could not take photographs of her as it “would spoil her image”‘, and then demanded I delete any that I had taken.’

Green, who was using a Nikon D800 and 18-200mm lens, added: ‘I pointed out to her that I was perfectly entitled to take photographs of whatever I wanted, as I was in a public place. I refused her demands.

‘If the mayor wanted total exclusivity of the photographs, she should have chosen a totally private location.’

‘It’s where they unload the fish’

Green said he was 20 feet away when he managed to grab five shots. ‘She stormed towards me… It’s a totally public area. It’s where they unload the fish.’

Speaking to AP, the mayor (pictured above) claimed Green’s manner ‘bordered on aggressive’, which the photographer denies.

England said she was worried the shots would end up as a ‘joke picture’, adding that ‘everyone was soaked’ following a day of rain, though she conceded that, as the town’s mayor, she was ‘up for public consumption’.

‘He sprung on us.. he didn’t say who he was, where he came from or where they [the pictures] would be published,’ said England who claimed that the ‘Fisherman’s Quay’ area of the harbour was ‘not really a public place’.

‘I said “excuse me, would you mind deleting them”.’

Fears over torch attack

England said she was also trying to protect the torchbearer who was ‘very nervous’ because the police officers who had been alongside her earlier in the day were no longer there to protect the torch from being taken by a member of the public.

And she accused Green of trying to grab the ‘limelight’ by subsequently raising the issue with the media.

‘It was an unfortunate situation. After that, no more [official] photos of her [the torchbearer] with the torch were taken. It was lockdown. She was shaken by it.’

Green later complained to police that the mayor’s behaviour was ‘insulting and aggressive.’

But the photographer, who travels around the UK taking images of coastal locations, said police did not pursue his complaint.

England told AP: ‘I was in two minds whether to report him myself.’

Green, who plans to raise the issue with the town council, said he had driven to Lymington from his home in Newbury, Berkshire.

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  • Kerwood

    I think her bum looks big in that!

  • David Scott

    I think that the Mayor looks lovely and that Mr Green should learn some manners.

  • Paul Baker

    Coming from Lymington I can say that the Mayor is well known as an attention seeker, more interested in her image than serving the public. Her comments that the picture was “not really a public place” is absolute tosh in fact its an area heavily used by the public and tourists in particular. I’m afraid Jaqueline England courts controversey wherever she goes.

  • MIKE WARD-SALE

    ” ALL POWER CORRUPTS ”

    ” BUT POOR OFFICIAL DRESS

    SENSE IS INEXCUSABLE “

  • Sy

    Agree with all of the above especially Peter Hicks.

    Exactly the same on that little island 4 miles south of them. Once thy get into power they don’t do anything for the area .. just like telling the locals what they can & can not do.

    I got some briliant shots of Dame Ellen MacArthur with the torch. Someone who’s used to a bit of good press about her. Lol Not just local slander

  • Simon Lambert

    Who are these people? they were elected not born to power.

    When freedom dies so do we all

  • John

    Interesting to see how there is an instant assumption that the Mayor is at fault and the photographer the victim. This is someone who drove 60-odd miles, to take a mediocre photo, in the rain, of two people most will never have heard of. It would be interesting to hear from witnesses whether they thought he was agressive.
    For “an amateur who has sold images for publication” he certainly knows how to generate some free publicity. Personally, I’d reserve judgement until we get a few more facts.

  • Neal

    To be honest….they’re not the most flattering or well taken photos either.

  • Ronnie Thain

    If someone objected to me taking photographs of them I would feel obliged to stop and would delete the ones I’d taken. I wouldn’t want to offend anyone for the sake of a photograph and I would like to leave the person with the impression that a photographer can be courteous. However, if I thought i’d taken an unrepeatable cracker of a photograph, I’d apologise profusely and leg it! Either way – no point in whingeing.

  • Mike

    And her reason for not wanting her photo taken? …
    … she was worried about her image!

    That says it all,

    Mike

  • Mr Angry

    Just goes to show that the Olympics are for the rich and powerful and not for the masses.

    Any community spirit fostered by the games has long been consigned to history. Unfortunately, the masses have yet to realise it 🙁

  • Don Morley

    Hope all the Pro photographers will ignore her next time she NEEDS publicity to get re-elected or whatever. She should be ‘B’ ashamed of herself. Don Morley (Ex ‘The Guardian’).

  • Des Gardner

    You may have got a scoop here of the EX Mayor of Lymington…….

  • Sue

    Taking photos from a pubic place is perfectly legal – the mayor has no right to grizzle.

  • Peter Hicks

    I think that if this was an official function for the Mayor, she should have taken more care with her appearance. She looks like a slob.
    Being in the public eye she should be prepared for anyone who points a camera at her.

  • Keith Nuttall

    Worst case scenario in my opinion? The quay is private property, and the mayor can ask for no more photos to be taken. Was anyone warned that the quay was a no photo zone?

  • B Stein

    Police State.

  • MB

    Disgusting behaviour by yet another person in public office.