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01/11/2013 11:07 GMT | Updated 07/11/2013 10:05 GMT

Remembrance Poppy Debate Reignites As Labour MP Rebukes Journalist Who Refused To Wear One

Poppy debate
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Poppy debate

A shadow defence minister has rebuked a journalist who said she no longer felt comfortable wearing a Remembrance poppy.

Gemma Doyle said the decision to wear a poppy was not "a commentary on military intervention" or politics.

She was responding to Madeleine Fry, who wrote a HuffPost blog explaining why she would not be wearing the symbol.

The true meaning, she wrote, "often seems to get forgotten as Remembrance Sunday becomes a celebration of jingoism and militarism, where the victims of British aggression in wars past and present are rarely mentioned.

Doyle, Labour's Shadow Veterans' Minister, said she was wrong.

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She wrote: "If you object to British foreign policy, about the worst way you could express that is in a decision not to wear a poppy, because that decision only impacts on some of those who face consequences of the policy - whether or not they agree with it - not on those of us who are actually responsible for the decisions."

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Debate around the wearing of the poppy has become an annual event, with some critics feeling it has become a political symbol.

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Earlier this week a Methodist minister refused to wear one while carrying out a remembrance service, with a church spokesman saying it was because she believes it "advocates war".

Broadcaster Jon Snow made waves when he refused to wear one, in protest at what he called "poppy fascism". But in recent years there have been moves to reclaim the symbol, with Prince William wading into a row over the England football team being able to wear one on their kits in 2011.

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