Offensive number plates withdrawn from auction

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The Independent Online

Gay rights campaigners today welcomed a move by the car licensing authority to withdraw offensive number plates from an auction.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) pulled the plates F4 GOT and D1 KES, which were due to be among 1,600 auctioned later this week.

The agency decided to remove the plates which bear resemblance to the derogatory terms faggot and dykes, on grounds of "the clear potential offence".

Each of the private plates had a reserve price of £900.

They were due to go under the hammer at an auction in Broadway, Worcestershire.

A spokesman for the DVLA said: "DVLA has 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"Having reviewed the appropriateness of the registration marks F4 GOT and D1 KES, we have withdrawn these marks from sale on the grounds of the clear potential offence they may cause."

A spokesman for Stonewall said: "We welcome the action by the DVLA in ensuring that these potentially offensive items were withdrawn from sale

"This kind of proactive action by the public authorities helps make Britain a more equal place."

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