Consent for Lee Rigby’s name to be used by extremists ‘outrageous’

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The Electoral Commission should face a “full investigation” over its decision to allow an extremist party to use a slogan featuring murdered soldier Lee Rigby, the Government said.

The watchdog issued an apology for allowing Britain First to use the description “Remember Lee Rigby” on voting slips for next month’s European elections.

The poll on May 22 takes place on the first anniversary of Fusilier Rigby’s death. The 25-year-old father-of-one, who was married in Southowram, near Halifax, in 2007, was killed near Woolwich Barracks in south-east London.

Cabinet Office Minister Greg Clark has now written to Commons speaker John Bercow to request an investigation into the error is brought forward by the parliamentary committee which oversees the commission’s work.

Mr Clark wants the Speaker’s Committee, chaired by Mr Bercow and includes Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg among its cross-party members, to ensure steps are taken to prevent “such a mistake ever happening again”.

The commission said it had signed off the slogan for the party to use across the UK.

But Britain First has opted not to deploy it in Scotland, and is not believed to be fielding candidates in England.

It is not clear if any individuals are facing disciplinary action over the error.

Mr Clark said: “The whole country will be outraged that the memory of Lee Rigby should be abused in this way, and our heart goes out to his family, friends and colleagues.”

Commission chair Jenny Watson said Britain First’s party description “Remember Lee Rigby” should “never had been permitted”. Watson added she had apologised to Fusilier Rigby’s family.