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Ex-Ukip MP and police chief in Twitter row over Gatwick drone saga

PUBLISHED: 12:26 24 December 2018 | UPDATED: 12:36 24 December 2018

Former Ukip MP for Clacton Douglas Carswell Picture: ARCHANT

Former Ukip MP for Clacton Douglas Carswell Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

Essex Police's chief constable Ben-Julian (BJ) Harrington Picture: GARY KENTON/ESSEX POLICEEssex Police's chief constable Ben-Julian (BJ) Harrington Picture: GARY KENTON/ESSEX POLICE

Former Ukip MP for Clacton, Douglas Carswell, hit out over the naming of a 47-year-old man and a 54-year-old woman who were arrested, but have since been released without charge, in connection with an investigation into suspected drone use at Gatwick airport last week.

Mr Carswell later said he “respected the police” when challenged by an officer.

Writing on Twitter, the former politician raised concerns about the apparent handling of the situation by police and the press.

Such comments sparked a reaction from Essex Police’s chief constable BJ Harrington.

The newly-appointed police boss said he hoped Mr Carswell’s account had been hacked.

However, following a brief exchange with another officer, the former Conservative MP appeared to apologise and said: “You are kind. I have a great respect for the police. Have a merry Christmas and thanks for all that you do.”

Flights coming in and out of Gatwick were grounded for around 36 hours when a device, thought to be a drone, was reportedly seen near the runway last Wednesday.

Around 1,000 aircraft were cancelled or diverted, and approximately 140,000 passengers are thought to have been affected by the disruption.

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