UKIP blasted over poppy day tribute
A POLITICAL political has strongly denied it was using “tasteless advertising” after laying a remembrance wreath in a Suffolk town.UK Independence Party found itself at the centre of the controversy after a representative placed a wreath of poppies during the annual ceremony.
A POLITICAL political has strongly denied it was using “tasteless advertising” after laying a remembrance wreath in a Suffolk town.
UK Independence Party found itself at the centre of the controversy after a representative placed a wreath of poppies during the annual ceremony.
But UKIP has denied making political capital or trying to gain publicity out of the occasion and said its members, many of them war veterans, simply wanted to remember those who died in wars.
Resident Darren Wash said: “I was shocked to see a wreath from the UK Independence Party.
“It was placed so it could be seen by everyone walking along the prom. I think this is tasteless political advertising and should be removed immediately.
“If political wreaths are allowed then will we see wreaths from the BNP and other political organisations?”
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Mervyn Lemon, organiser of Felixstowe Festival of Remembrance, said: “I am surprised a political party was allowed to do it - politics should not enter into Remembrance in any shape or form. I can understand people being upset.
“It is definitely wrong and there should not be any advertising on a wreath in this way. I would be interested to know if UKIP feel it is appropriate and this issue should certainly be looked at.”
The wreath with a fluorescent yellow background complete with the party logo and the keep the pound sign was placed at Felixstowe War Memorial.
Town clerk Susan Robinson said the wreath-laying was organised in partnership with the Royal British Legion but there was no policy on who could and could not lay wreaths at the seafront memorial.
Organisers were always as welcoming as possible to any organisation which respectfully desired to honour the fallen. This usually involved services' organisations, Freemasons, Buffaloes, scouts, guides, firefighters and police and so on.
She said: “We are aware of what happened. UKIP's decision to lay a wreath this year has highlighted a political issue and is something we now need to consider for the future and look at what our policy should be. This was the first time any political party had laid a wreath.”
The wreath surprised some because UKIP is not a feature of the political scene in Felixstowe.
A party press officer said the wreaths had been given out at the national conference, but director of communications Mark Croucher said there was no national campaign to place wreaths at Remembrance ceremonies.
He said: “Our party has many veterans of military and civilian service and this was a genuine act of Remembrance and not anything to do with politics.
“I don't think there is anything unusual about political groups or associations laying wreaths and I have seen it quite frequently.”