Előd Novák, vice-president of the far-right Hungarian Our Homeland Movement, removed a rainbow-colored LGBT flag from the Budapest City Hall building in the early hours of Sunday, national news agency MTI reports.
He used a 15-meter (50-ft) ladder to climb to the three flags, which included an LGBT, a Hungarian and a Budapest flag, and removed the one he found offensive and threw it into a nearby trash can.
The Our Homeland Movement said in a statement that such “anti-family symbols” have no place on the street, even less on the building of the Budapest municipality.
Local sanitation workers recovered the LGBT flag from the trash can, but Novák snatched the flag again while evading police who arrived on scene, He then ran away and threw the flag in a trash can farther away from the scene before returning to the City Hall entrance where he was charged by police with vandalism.
The 40-year-old Novák was an MP of another far-right party, Jobbik, until 2016. He and a number of other Jobbik members left the party in 2016-2017 when the new leadership began to pursue a more mainstream policy in order to attract voters from traditional conservative parties, most prominently the ruling Fidesz party.
Back in January 2012, while still as an MP for Jobbik, he burned the flag of the European Union at an anti-EU demonstration.
Title image: Our Homeland Movement vice-president Előd Novák climbs to the rainbow flag flying on the Budapest City Hall building. (source: mihazank.hu)