Lord Kitchener Commemorative World War One Coin Branded 'Offensive'

Calls have been made to scrap a coin marking the centenary of the First World War.

The Royal Mint's recently issued commemorative £2 coin shows an image of Lord Kitchener and the famous words "Your country needs you".

The iconic picture was used during the British government's recruitment campaign and is one of the best-known pieces of propaganda in history.

But Plaid Cymru Welsh Assembly candidate Dai Lloyd says the "offensive" coin glorifies war and should never have gone into circulation.

Dr Lloyd said: "Until now there has been a widespread consensus that the commemoration should avoid glorifying war or reopening old wounds.

"It epitomises the blinkered mentality that sent millions to their deaths in the trenches, including tens of thousands from Wales.

"At a time when we are seeking reconciliation between the West and the Muslim world, how can it make sense to lionise Lord Kitchener, whose military record includes the butchery of thousands of Sudanese at Omdurman?"

Shadow Culture minister Helen Goodman also condemned the Government's approach, referring to Education Secretary Michael Gove's attack on TV comedy Blackadder in the run-up to the anniversary.

"The Government itself is spending some £50 million on World War One commemoration and if the remarks of the Secretary of State for Education and the decision to put Lord Kitchener on the £2 coin are anything to go by, the Government seems to be embarking on an unnecessarily jingoistic approach," she said.

Labour councillor Sioned-Mair Richards, from Sheffield, has begun a petition on to get nurse Edith Cavell, who was executed for providing medical assistance to all soldiers regardless of nationality, on the coin.

The Royal Mint said it had been producing British coins that have recorded the passing of history, documenting changes in monarchs, customs and national themes.

A spokeswoman said the design was picked as the image "has come to be strongly associated with the outbreak of the war."