Flags, wreaths and posters which include politicians appeared on the pyre in Derry

Nationalist bonfire in County Londonderry burning images of Queen and PSNI land rover
Politicians say there is no place for such displays of hate in society Credit: UTV

Political leaders across the political spectrum in Northern Ireland have united to condemn a nationalist bonfire in Londonderry after poppy wreaths, flags and images appeared on the pyre.

The bonfire in Derry's Bogside area displayed images of the Queen, a PSNI Land Rover as well as flags and wreaths.

The PSNI has confirmed it is investigating.

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Bonfires are traditionally lit in nationalist areas of Londonderry on August 15.

The fires are associated with the August anniversary of the introduction of internment without trial during the Troubles, and also coincide with the Catholic Feast of the Assumption.

DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson described the actions as an "outrageous and offensive display of hate", which should be "universally rejected".

Meanwhile, the SDLP's Colum Eastwood tweeted: "This is totally out of order. Why do they need to mimic the worst elements of loyalist culture?"

Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly, the party's policing spokesperson, said: "Scenes from bonfires in Derry... are absolutely disgraceful and wrong. "The burning of flags, wreaths and posters which include politicians and other political figures is deeply offensive and is a hate crime.

"There is no place for these displays of hate anywhere in our society. It must stop now." SDLP councillor John Boyle said the display on the bonfire at Meenan Square did not represent the local community.

"The placing of these images and flags on the bonfire in Derry is disgraceful and I condemn it in the strongest possible terms," he said.

"Those behind this bonfire do not speak for the people of the Bogside who want to live in peace with their neighbours."

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