A row has broken out over a note of remembrance left at Cleckheaton's Memorial Park on Sunday.
A wreath was laid by the BNP during the ceremony to mark Remembrance Sunday. An attached note read ‘Your sacrifice will never be forgotten!! But as you look down on today’s England you may wonder why you and your comrades bothered. Respect forever, The British National Party’.
A member of the public tore the note from the wreath shortly after the conclusion of the ceremony, with several onlookers angered by its political message. However David Exley, BNP organiser for Kirklees, said the note did not come from anyone in his party and claimed someone was trying to ‘stitch up’ the BNP on an important day.
“The wreath was presented by Richard Brown, in his capacity as a representative of the party and also as an ex-member of the parachute regiment who has seen active service. On that wreath, he wrote ‘you will never be forgotten, Kirklees BNP’,” Mr Exley said, adding that someone must have taken the original note and substituted it with a different one.
“All our representatives have been told that it’s a non-political event and should not be politicised in any way. We have always recognised this. In my view, someone has criminally damaged and stolen part of the wreath, which was a personal message to those who have given their lives in conflicts for this country.”
He added that the incident had been reported to the police and he believed someone was trying to cause trouble for the party.
Eddie Morton, chairman of the Spenborough branch of the Royal British Legion, agreed that the event should be non-political.
“As a political party with an elected representative in the area, they have a right to parade along with other political parties. The note that was left with the wreath could have been more sensitive to the dignity of the occasion and should not have tried to make political gains from a non-political event,” he said.