Ex-Dundee provost and armed forces charity patron hits out at Remembrance Day event ‘snub’

Former Lord Provost John Letford says he is disappointed about being “snubbed” from attending the Festival of Remembrance.

A former Dundee Lord Provost has said he was left “disappointed” after being “snubbed” in an email from the city council telling him not to attend the Festival of Remembrance.

John Letford, who served as Lord Provost for 11 years, said the event that took place last Saturday had been “swiped” away from him in an instant.

Speaking to the Tele, the former president of The Black Watch Association said the rejection had influenced his decision not to attend the City Chambers Remembrance Sunday celebrations this weekend.

He said: “I’m really disappointed at the way the situation has unfolded — it was a shabby way to be treated.

“To have an event I’ve attended for more than 20 years just swiped away from me via email was disappointing.

“I’ve attended the event before during and after my time as provost.

“I sent an email to ascertain if I were allowed to attend the event this month and was subsequently told I was not.”

Mr Letford lays a wreath at a previous Remembrance event.

The annual event traditionally sees the Lord Provost and VIPs starting the procession in City Chambers.

The Lord Provost then lays a wreath at the Garden of Remembrance outside St Mary’s Church, followed by dignitaries laying crosses.

The email Mr Letford received stated it was not practice to invite former provosts to the event.

Mr Letford, who is also a patron of armed forces charity SSAFA, added: “The email was extremely blunt.

“I would have rather had the opportunity to have gone in and spoken face-to-face regarding the invitation.

“I attended the event during Bob Duncan’s time as Lord Provost and haven’t encountered this before, nor had I with any previous provost.

“Former provosts should be allowed to attend these events given the work they have done in the city.”

A city council spokeswoman said that it was not practice to invite former provosts.

She said: “A letter was sent to Mr Letford which read: ‘As regards the Festival of Remembrance, the list of invitations remains as decided by you when Lord Provost.

“As you will recall, it was not the practice then to invite former Lord Provosts and that practice remains unchanged today.”

Mr Letford added: “Although I was invited to attend City Chambers this Sunday, I’ve made the decision not to. I’ll still be attending the service at the church in St Mary’s, The Unicorn and the cenotaph on the Law.

“Given the snub, I wouldn’t feel comfortable attending at City Chambers.”