Far-right group Britain First have shared a picture of Lee Rigby on their Facebook page - against the wishes of the murdered soldier’s family.
Captioning the image of a uniformed Fusilier Rigby: ‘Lest we forget’, the Facebook post soon attracted comments from users telling the group that his family had opposed the move, according to the Huffington Post.
One user wrote: “Disgusting that you use this image despite the family repeatedly telling you not to”, while another commented: “You have no respect! If you did you would abide by Lee’s poor grieving mother’s wishes that you don’t use him like this.”
Fusilier Rigby’s family, including his mother, stepfather and wife Rebecca, released a statement through the Ministry of Defence in June of this year, saying they did not want far-right groups using the soldier in their campaigns.
The statement said: “We would like to emphasise that Lee would not want people to use his name as an excuse to carry out attacks against others.
“We would not wish any other families to go through this harrowing experience and appeal to everyone to keep calm and show their respect in a peaceful manner.”
Britain First controversies
Britain First controversies
1/8 20 November 2014: Britain First claims credit for success of Ukip campaign
With the Tory defector Mark Reckless forecast to win the hotly-contested by-election in Rochester and Strood, Britain First suggested they only campaigned “to bolster the Ukip campaign”. Prior to the start of the vote some bookmakers had Nigel Farage’s party as huge 1/100 favourites to take the seat, which would make Mr Reckless their second MP at the expense of the Conservative Party. And with things going so smoothly for Ukip, the far right-wing group Britain First has tried to claim some of the credit
2/8 5 November 2014: Britain First accused of hijacking the poppy as Remembrance Day approaches to promote its own agenda
The far-right group used the symbol, which is a registered trademark of the Royal British Legion, on its website masthead and in Facebook posts driving more people to its page. It is seen alongside Britain First’s logo telling people to “take our country back” and crudely superimposed into the centre of the European Union flag with a message about “national sovereignty”. Members of opposition group Exposing Britain First believe many Facebook users are sharing poppy posts without realising who it comes from or what they stand for
3/8 28 October 2014: Britain First accuses Ukip of 'playing political game' with snub over Rochester photo
Britain First accused Ukip of “playing the political game” after Nigel Farage’s party reprimanded its campaigners for posing for a picture with members of the far-right group. A spokesperson for Ukip said the picture, taken while both parties were campaigning for the Rochester by-election on Saturday, was a “mistake” would “not happen again”
4/8 25 October 2014: Britain First starts 'direct action' on Mail and Sun journalists over Lynda Bellingham post
Britain First encouraged its followers to boycott the Daily Mail and The Sun after it was accused of using actress Lynda Bellingham's death to boost support. The party has threatened to launch "direct action" on the journalists after they said that the group used the cancer victim's death as a way to gain more attention on social media. Britain First posted a photograph to their Facebook subscribers of Mrs Bellingham with co-star Christopher Timothy, above the caption: "RIP actress Lynda Bellingham. Britain First", which garnered more than 6,000 'likes' and 500 shares
5/8 28 July 2014: Britain First founder Jim Dowson quits over mosque invasions and 'racists and extremists'
The founder of Britain First resigned from the far-right group over its “provocative and counterproductive” mosque invasions. James “Jim” Dowson, a former British National Party (BNP) member and anti-abortion campaigner, announced his departure on 27 July 2014. While Britain First blamed “media pressure” and family issues for the decision and said he would be missed “enormously” in a saccharine post, Mr Dowson publicly shamed the group’s tactics as “unacceptable and unchristian”
6/8 15 July 2014: Britain First 'battalion' invades mosque demanding removal of 'sexist' entrance signs
A self-styled battalion of the far-right group Britain First “invaded” a mosque in south London. The stated aim of the altercation was to “demand the removal of sexist signs” outside the Crayford Mosque. The signs designate separate entrances for men and women, so they can enter for segregated worship as is the custom in most mosques. Men and women also sit apart in Orthodox Jewish synagogues and some Sikh gurdwaras. A film of the encounter was posted on Facebook, set to dramatic drumming music and ending with the slogan: "Britain First Defence Force. No fear. No retreat. No surrender."
7/8 27 June 2014: Britain First's Facebook page taken down for 'hate speech'
Britain First’s Facebook page was taken down for hate speech – only to be restored again an hour later. Facebook claimed the extremist group’s page was taken down by mistake but a screenshot posted by anti-fascist campaigners Hope Not Hate seemed to show the social media site had removed Britain First in response to a complaint. With almost 500,000 “likes” Britain First’s page has a following that far outstrips the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats, arguably making it the UK's biggest political site
8/8 27 April 2014: Inquiry over far-right Britain First party's use of Lee Rigby slogan on voting slip
The election watchdog faced an inquiry over its decision to allow a far-right party to use a slogan referencing the murdered soldier Lee Rigby. The Electoral Commission apologised for allowing Britain First to use the description “Remember Lee Rigby” on voting slips for next month’s European elections but Jenny Watson, the chair of the commission, said on Sunday that “an immediate and full independent investigation” would follow to “prevent this from ever happening again”
In April, 2014 the Electoral Commission apologised after signing off Britain First's use of ‘Remember Lee Rigby’ as a slogan on their voting slips for the European elections.
Fusilier Rigby, 25, was murdered by Islamist extremists Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale in 2013, a short distance from the Royal Artillery barracks in Woolwich, south east London.
Adebolajo is serving a whole-life sentence while Adebowale received a 45-year sentence.
Just this week, Britain First were asked by the British Army’s Royal Anglian Regiment to remove a picture of their soldiers from their Facebook page.
The Independent has contacted Britain First for comment.Reuse content