EXCLUSIVE Ban on 'offensive' car number plate.

The car number plate H8 GAY is being withdrawn after an MP and members of the public complained that it could be understood to say "Hate gay".

The DVLA refused to recall the number plate at first, saying it was not offensive on the grounds of "political, racial or religious sensitivities." This is probably because they sold the registration number in the first place and it has been transferred and been in existence since H prefix number plates were first sold in 1990.

But after complaints from homosexual Labour MP Chris Bryant, Transport Secretary Alistair Darling ordered the DVLA to reverse its decision. And it has agreed not to reissue the number plate in future.

The controversial number belongs to a gay couple who originally bought it as a joke for their blue Jaguar. They have since moved to France and so have no use for it there anyway.
The number plate was spotted by businessman Jocelyn Carr, of Notting Hill, West London, who complained to the DVLA about it.

He told the Mirror newspaper: "I was amazed. I just couldn't believe it had been allowed and I assumed it was being driven by a right bigot."

The DVLA told him it withholds numbers "if they are likely to cause offence or embarrassment to the public on the grounds of political, racial and religious sensitivities or simply because they are in poor taste". This statement is diputed by Cherished Number Dealers as the DVLA have in recent years sold many numbers that can be deemed as being offensive and even issued previously banned combinations such as DAM and BAS which were deemed as rude and offensive. In the interest of raising money from number plates sales at DVLA auctions and telesales it appears that you may one day see FUC and FUK plates quietly snook in through a back door.
It decided the number "when correctly spaced does not fall into any of these categories".

Mr Carr contacted MP Mr Bryant, who, in turn, spoke to Mr Darling.

Mr Bryant said: "If the DVLA sold H8 JEW or H8 WOG, there would rightly be a public outcry. Both these three letter combinations are banned, however WOG plates were issued previously and are not now.

"Clearly this goes beyond the realms of free speech and is a directly and deliberately offensive and abusive statement."

A friend of the couple who own the car told the Daily Mirror: "I believe the car number plate was bought as a joke for one of their birthdays.

"They thought it was funny and never imagined it would offend anyone."

See other naughty and rude number plates at www.r4v.co.uk