Remembrance Day parades 'cancelled due to police budget cuts', Labour claims

Labour claims cuts to police budgets have led to the cancellation of some Remembrance Day parades Credit: PA

Cuts to policing budgets have meant Remembrance Sunday parades are being scaled down or abandoned because of a lack of police cover, Labour has claimed.

In a letter to Home Secretary Theresa May, Labour's Andy Burnham said that under pressure police forces were having to choose which public events and calls are offered assistance.

"It has been brought to my attention that, for the first time, this is impacting on the police presence required for road closures at annual parades and wreath-laying Remembrance ceremonies," he wrote.

"This year, events in Yorkshire and Essex have been shortened and the 97th annual parade in Epping, attended by hundreds of local people each year, has been cancelled for lack of the necessary police resources."

In South Yorkshire, a branch of the Royal British Legion has cancelled their Remembrance Day parade due to a lack of local policing, the first time since World War II that the village of Hoyland has been unable to hold the parade.

An article in The Mirror said that parades had also been axed in London, Cambridgeshire and Yorkshire.

The Home Office has slashed police budget over the last few years, but the government says decisions about policing local Remembrance Day parades are taken by the various police forces.

A government aide was quoted by the Mail on Sunday as saying: "The police have never had a policy of routinely policing Remembrance Sunday parades or other special occasions.

"Decisions like this are a matter for chief constables."

Labour is planning to launch a campaign against police cuts next week, ahead of the government's comprehensive spending review.