The Ministry of Defence confirmed last month that an investigation is underway concerning photographs of eight soldiers standing next to a flag of the anti-Islam English Defence League (EDL) at a homecoming parade for the Duke of Lancaster Regiment.
One of the photographs shows soldiers from regiment, which recruits in Cumbria, posing next to the flag of the EDL at a homecoming parade for the regiment in Blackburn last year. Eight soldiers are seen standing next to the flag, bearing the words: “EDL supports Duke of Lancaster Regiment.” Another more controversial photograph shows a uniformed solider, allegedly in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, his face hidden by a black scarf as he brandishes a pistol and stands in front of the EDL flag.
A spokesman for the MoD told The Muslim News: “Individuals are free to join political parties but they’re not permitted to take an active role in political campaigning and must abide by our values and standards in all they do. Instances of unacceptable behaviour in the armed forces are investigated, and appropriate action taken up to and including dismissal.
“An investigation is already underway into allegations that individuals have breached army regulations through their involvement with the EDL.”
Former Chair on the Commons Counter Terrorism Sub-committee, Patrick Mercer, urged servicemen to steer clear of the EDL. He said the photographs could be used as propaganda by extremists in Afghanistan. “That could only damage our cause,” he said.
Thanks to the many people who sent this in