Legion defiant over decision to accept BAE's sponsorship

The Royal British Legion has defended its decision to allow arms manufacturer BAE Systems to sponsor the Poppy Day appeal.

In a statement, the Legion said: "We are grateful for the support of BAE. The commitment from companies ... underpins the £48 million the Legion spends each year providing counselling, job retaining, skills assessment, pensions and benefits, advice grants for setting up small businesses, convalescent and nursing support."

The charity came under attack last week from the Campaign Against Arms Trade which said that the relationship seriously undermined the whole ethos of Remembrance Day. BAE's sponsorship deal included a logo on billboard and press advertising.

"The integrity of this year's Remembrance Day commemorations must be questioned if a company such as BAE is able to exploit such a significant event for its own marketing purposes," said Richard Bingley, media co-ordinator at the Campaign Against Arms Trade.

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