A BID by the Mayor of Skipton to include white poppies in the wreath he lays on behalf of the town at this year’s Remembrance Sunday has been firmly rejected by his fellow councillors.

Cllr Alan Hickman said he wanted to include white poppies alongside traditional red ones at the ceremony, which in November will mark a hundred years since the end of World War One, and added he would be willing to provide them at no cost to the council.

But his request was unanimously rejected by councillors at last week’s Finance and Policy Committee with it being described as 'shocking', 'disrespectful' and as 'pseudo populist rubbish'.

In his written request to the committee, Cllr Hickman said: "In 1918, our nation celebrated the peace, not at that stage the war which had concluded. In line with that, I would wish for a number of white peace poppies to be interspersed with the red poppies for the wreath. I can supply the white poppies at no expense to the council."

Cllr Robert Heseltine, moved that the request be rejected, said: "This request may be considered somewhat trendy, but it will appear as disrespectful to a great number of out residents and the families of the fallen of this parish of Skipton."

Cllr Heseltine described the red poppy wreath as 'iconic' and nationally as the emblem of the act of remembrance.

"It is now such an important part of our nation's cultural heritage, I would hope and trust that the red poppy wreath remains absolutely sacrosanct to the everlasting memories of our fallen friends and comrades."

Last year's mayor, Cllr Andrew Rankine, said as an ex Army man, who had served in Northern Ireland and who had relatives both injured and killed in World War One, he believed the red poppy was the symbol of remembrance.

"I am shocked that a member of this council would bring such a proposal for consideration. I don't think this council should be associated with anything white to be laid by the town mayor," he said.

Cllr Chris Harbron added: "I don't concur with this pseudo-populist rubbish."

And Cllr Paul Whitaker said he thought it would be an insult to the descendants of those who died in the war.

Cllr Chris Clark, chairman of the committee, and council leader, said the red poppy was a symbol of remembrance and a reminder to people what happened when countries went to war and he did not agree with the inclusion of white poppies.

Following the unanimous rejection of Cllr's Hickman's request at the committee, he could have asked for it to go before the full council, but he has chosen not to.

He told the Herald after the meeting: "As we initially celebrated peace rather than victory in 1918, I felt it would be an appropriate gesture. The memorials erected later were also at first called peace memorials. However, the decision has been made, I am a Democrat therefore accept that decision and do not intend to raise the matter in full council."