Stonewall forces DVLA to withdraw auction of ‘anti-gay’ numberplates

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The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has had to withdraw two personalised numberplates from an auction after gay rights charity Stonewall said they were offensive.

The numberplates, which read ‘F4 GOT’ and ‘D1 KES’, were among 1,600 numberplates which were to be auctioned this week.

Both plates had a reserve of £900 each, while the DVLA was expected to make £3.5 million from the total sales.

Stonewall argued that the plates looked like the homophobic terms ‘faggot’ and ‘dyke’ and said the DVLA should not be able to profit from them.

Stonewall spokesman James Lawrence said: “It is regrettable that personalised numberplates that could clearly cause offence were made available.

“All publicly funded bodies should act appropriately when approving language that is potentially offensive to any community.”

A DVLA spokesman said: “We have a responsibility to ensure that the combinations used on registration marks do not cause general upset or offence.

“Having reviewed the appropriateness of the registration marks F4 GOT and D1 KES, we have withdrawn these marks on the grounds of the clear potential offence they may cause.”

There is a list of approximately 1,000 banned numberplates. Examples are 054MA, which looks like Osama, H057 AGE (hostage), MA56 ACA (massacre) and and BU58 0MB (bus bomb).