Bristol

Charlotte Leslie MP writes to Guides over axed ceremony

Charlotte Leslie
Image caption Charlotte Leslie has written to Girlguiding UK for an explanation

A Bristol MP has written to Girlguiding UK for an explanation after a drumhead ceremony to mark Remembrance Day was cancelled.

Charlotte Leslie says a constituent in Shirehampton organised a similar event last year, but this year said they were told it was "inappropriate".

A Girlguiding UK spokeswoman said there was never any intention that the girls would not mark Remembrance Day.

The five to seven-year-old Rainbows took part in other activities.

Ms Leslie, Conservative MP for Bristol North West, said she had written to the organisation's headquarters in London for an explanation.

"There seems to be a bit of controversy about this," she said, adding that Girlguiding UK does a "brilliant job".

"I hope it can all be sorted out so the children can concentrate on what Remembrance [day] is all about.

"Every child is capable of understanding what a hero is."

'Young age group'

A Girlguiding UK spokeswoman said the drumhead ceremony had been meant to take place during the Rainbow group meeting on Thursday, but organisers had decided to hold something more "age-appropriate" instead.

The girls had decorated poppies and had discussions about Remembrance, she said.

Gill Slocombe, chief commissioner for Girlguiding South West England, said: "I would like to make it very clear that there was never any intention from anyone within Girlguiding UK that these 13 Rainbows aged five to seven would not take part in events to mark Remembrance Day.

"They will join Brownies and Guides to commemorate the occasion on Sunday as planned and this was never in question.

"The previously planned drumhead ceremony was replaced with activities on the Remembrance Day theme which were designed specifically to help this young age group to understand the significance of the occasion so that they are more fully prepared to participate in Sunday's important occasion."

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