Live updates

Organiser says they have been targeted following float outrage

One of the organisers of the Lauder Common Riding says they have been targeted after a fancy dress float caused offence at this year's event. A float with people dressed as Jimmy Savile and schoolgirls was part of a parade in the Borders town last weekend.

The stunt made national news headlines and was criticised by politicians and charities. The organiser says animal droppings were left at their home and have reported the matter to Police.


Full Report: Outrage over Jimmy Savile float at Lauder Common Riding

The organisers of Lauder's Common Riding are coming under fire for allowing a Jimmy Savile themed float to enter their fancy dress parade last week.

The stunt has attracted criticism from some people in the town as well as politicians and victims of abuse.

However, the committee say they do not censor entries and it is up to people to make their own moral choices about what they put in the parade.

Kathryn Samson reports.


  1. Calendar

Abuse support charity say Savile float "crass"

A charity which supports people abused in childhood say they have already had a number of calls from "distressed" victims of abuse.

The National Association for People Abused in Childhood said the float featuring people in Jimmy Savile costumes at a festival in the Borders was "crass".

"We've already had calls to the NAPAC support line from people who are distressed by this because every time people do stupid things like this and glorify these crimes, it will glorify abuse - not just Savile victims who will understandably be upset, but other victims of childhood abuse."

– Peter Saunders, NAPAC

A link to the charity can be found here

Common Riding organisers: "We have never censored anyone who has entered the event"

In response to comments branding a Jim'll Fix It themed float in this year's Lauder Common Riding competition "distasteful and offensive", the organisers have said:

"Lauder Common Riding Committee is responsible for running one of the oldest and largest equestrian events in Europe.

"Our main aim is to ensure this event is run safely and for the enjoyment of spectators and the many hundreds who take part in all our events. This we have done very successfully both this year and in the past.

"Our fancy dress parade is only one element of our week and is a long-standing tradition. We have never censored anyone who has entered the event. It is up to the individuals who enter and their conscience to decide how they wish to express themselves and approach the event.

"People spectate and take part of their own free will. This year we did not receive any complaints about any of the entrants.

"We are obviously dismayed and understand that people are upset by the coverage one of the entries has received; however, we would reiterate that the committee does not condone or condemn the individual's right to enter the parade in their own way."

Christine Grahame MSP: Savile float was a "serious misjudgement"

Local politician Christine Grahame MSP - whose constituency includes Lauder - has expressed concern over the entry of a Jimmy Savile float into the town's Common Riding float competition.

“I am a great believer in free speech but I do think people have to be responsible and in my opinion this subject was in poor taste.

“While I’m sure those involved didn’t go out to deliberately offend anyone this was a very inappropriate topic for a family event.

“There may well have been a Savile victim in the crowd, a young person or an adult who is or has been the victim of sexual abuse.

“I wouldn’t want to censor anyone but I think this has been a serious misjudgement and hope the people involved are reflecting upon the offence their actions will have caused to many people.”

– Christine Grahame MSP
Load more updates