November 10, 2009

National Front lays wreaths at Cenotaph

The National Front has laid wreaths at the Cenotaph in a move which the Royal British Legion said "desecrated" the monument to Britain's war dead

Hundreds of members of the far Right party marched through the streets of Westminster to the London memorial on Remembrance Sunday. It emerged last night that they placed four poppy wreaths following the official ceremony attended by the Queen.

The Royal British Legion last night condemned the act saying that they had not been given permission to place the tributes, which were laid alongside those presented by Gordon Brown, the prime minister, and David Cameron, the Tory leader.

Robert Lee, the legion's spokesman said: "This is a terrible and unfortunate desecration of one of the nation's most important and treasured monuments. There was no official formation representing the National Front at the ceremony in any shape or form. Someone must have come there afterwards and placed these wreaths on the official pile."

A news item on the party's website reported that more than 200 members had marched from Victoria in London to the historic site on Sunday. It said that the event "passed off with dignity and peacefully" despite threats of disruption. It said the group observed a two minute silence at the Cenotaph before members laid the wreaths on behalf of the main, ex-servicemen's, youth, and Yorkshire branches of the party. It concludes saying the march was a "sure sign of a revitalised and resurgent NF".

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which organises the official ceremony at the Cenotaph, said the National Front had not been allocated an official place for wreaths but had not broken any rules by leaving them later. Only political parties with six or more seats in the Commons are allowed a space, however there is nothing to stop individuals or organisations from placing tributes after the service, a spokesman said.


No comments: