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  1. ITV Report

Electoral Commission Head 'should resign' over Rigby slogan

Lee Rigby was murdered in Woolwich in May last year Photo:

An MP has called for the head of the Electoral Commission to resign, for allowing the name of murdered solider Lee Rigby to used to promote a far-right political party.

Fusilier Lee Rigby, from Middleton, was murdered outside his barracks in Woolwich in May 2013.

Now, ‘Britain First,’ a breakaway group of former BNP activists, will include the phrase ‘Remember Lee Rigby’ as its official slogan beside the party’s name on all ballot papers at the upcoming poll after the Electoral Commission granted their application.

Geraint Davies MP says the Head of the Electoral Commission should resign Credit: PA Images

Geraint Davies, Labour and Co-operative MP for Swansea West, has made the call. He said: “It is completely unacceptable for Lee Rigby’s memory to be sullied by any political party, let alone one with views as odious as the BNP splinter group ‘Britain First.

“The Commission’s decision to place Fusilier Rigby’s name alongside this racist and Islamophobic party on ballot papers across Wales is simply inexcusable, as is their refusal to do anything about it.

He continued: “They have acknowledged that they should have intervened, but simply apologising and holding an inquiry is insufficient when the damage has already been done. On May 22nd, a year after Lee Rigby’s death, voters will walk into polling stations across the country to see this grotesque slur on their ballot paper; it’s an affront to every voter in the country.

“I cannot understand why the Commission is refusing to act to remove this slogan from ballot papers. Clearly there will be a cost involved in reprinting and redistributing the voting papers, but in my view that is a price worth paying to protect the memory of Fusilier Rigby."

Mr Davies said the oversight was so grave, the head of the commission should now resign.

The Commission Chair, Jenny Watson, has apologised for the offence caused and an inquiry has been ordered by the Speaker of the House of Commons to prevent a repeat of the episode, however this is too little too late according to Mr Davies.