Eurosceptic East Anglian photographer “livid” after Felixstowe Port picture appears without permission in government’s £9m pro-EU brochure
- Credit: SIMON FINLAY
When eurosceptic Mike Page picked up the latest pro-European Union pamphlet from his doormat the last thing he expected to see was one of his own pictures of the Port of Felixstowe.
The pro-Brexit photographer, whose aerial shots of East Anglia are well known to East Anglian Daily Times readers and raise thousands of pounds for charity, was “livid” to find that, unbeknown to him, a shot taken earlier this year had been used without his knowledge in the taxpayer-funded document making the case to remain.
Mr Page said he had given the photographs to the Port of Felixstowe for their use, but the deal meant that they could not pass them on to a third party.
The 76-year-old, who runs a garage in Strumpshaw, Norfolk, has now accepted a charity donation from the Port and said he would not be taking the matter further.
A Port of Felixstowe spokesman said: “It was one of a number of photographs we provided to the Government. On this particular image there was a misunderstanding on the copyright but this has been resolved to Mike Page’s satisfaction.”
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The Government has come under fire for spending £9million of public funds producing, promoting and sending the leaflet to every household in Britain. Mr Page said yesterday: “I got my document through the post and I spotted they had used one of my photographs in it. I had a quick look at it and thought ‘that looks like mine’. I checked, and it was.”
He said he had been following the news stories about the amount that was being spent on the leaflet because he was in favour of leaving the European Union.
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“It is ridiculous they are spending £9m on it. They are trying to out-do the out campaign.” He said he was “livid” that his photograph was being used.
“All of my photography money goes to charity. It has done so since I started photography.
“Local and national charities have benefited to the tune of £150,000. I have got a charity account and it all goes into there.”
He said that if asked for permission he would have said “no”,
“I totally disagree with what they are doing, particularly producing this brochure. They are submitting that to every house in the UK and it has cost us a fortune and a lot of the stuff they are putting in there is total rubbish. But the point is they used it without asking.”
Mr Page, who flies aeroplanes as a hobby, said that he would be voting to leave the European Union on June 23 because of the way European Union legislation had affected flying, adding extra costs for licence renewal and medical checks. He was also critical of the impact the European Union had on his garage business in Strumpshaw and the regulations around conservation.
He also claimed that EU regulations around river drainage had led to more flooding.
Downing Street said Felixstowe port had provided the image and gave permission for its use in the leaflet.
Prime minister David Cameron has visited the Port of Felixstowe twice in the last 12 months, most recently speaking to a group of port employees and customers about the benefits of the UK’s membership of the European Union.
Clemence Cheng, chief executive of Hutchison Ports (UK) Limited, has also spoken about the importance of the UK’s continued membership of the European Union.