Mayor accused of ‘barging in’ at Remembrance Day service in Tower Hill

Photo finish: The mayor lays a wreath as speaker Lesley Pavitt looks on

Photo finish: The mayor lays a wreath as speaker Lesley Pavitt looks on - Credit: Archant

The mayor has been accused of “barging in” at a Remembrance Day service to lay a wreath before more senior dignitaries - after arriving late for the ceremony.

Mayor Lutfur Rahman was one of the first to place his wreath at the November 10 service at the Merchant Navy memorial in Tower Hill, in breach of the traditional arrangements for the service.

The order of wreath layers - written by the Honourable Company of Master Mariners, which organised the service - said the mayor should lay his wreath after Deputy John Bennett of the City of London Corporation, Commander J Ludgate of the Lieutenancy of Greater London, and council speaker Cllr Lesley Pavitt.

But pictures and witness testimony show Mr Rahman placing his wreath ahead of these dignitaries despite being aware of the protocol.

Cllr Peter Golds, a long-time critic of the mayor, said: “Lutfur Rahman barged his way in to be right at the front. His behaviour was extraordinary.

He added: “The mayor was sent all the details like the rest of us and knew what the order would be.

“He has an incredibly inflated sense of what an elected mayor is.” The mayor’s late arrival was attacked by Jim Fitzpatrick MP, who called his tardiness “a disgrace” and said he should apologise.

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Mr Rahman has not given a reason for his lateness but accused Mr Fitzpatrick of “opportunism”.

The mayor declined to comment on the order of the wreath-laying.

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