Morrisons worker suspended after wearing poppy and badge in memory of Drummer Lee Rigby

Adam Austin

Adam Austin

Great Britain's Katy Sexton during the Women's 200m Backstroke at the 2004 Olympics. Credit: PA

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A SHOP worker has been suspended from his job after he wore items in tribute to Drummer Lee Rigby.

Adam Austin, 28, turned up to work at the Morrisons store, at Victory Retail Park, Landport, Portsmouth, yesterday wearing a poppy pin badge on his name tag.

He wanted to show his respect to the friends and family of Lee Rigby, a soldier who was murdered in Woolwich, south-east London, on Wednesday.

But he was left stunned after managers told him to take it off because it went against the dress code. He didn’t want to cause a fuss so accepted, but decided to put on a Help for Heroes bracelet instead. Mr Austin, who works on the store’s checkouts, was then told to leave after refusing to remove it.

Mr Austin has now had a letter from his employers - which he has posted on the internet - saying he has been suspended until Friday, when he will have a meeting to decide what happens next.

Mr Austin, who lives with his partner Susan Saunders, 24, in Nelson Road, Buckland, Portsmouth, said: ‘I was disappointed and partly furious.

‘I would have understood if they had said you can wear the badge now, and then when the situation with Lee Rigby dies down take them off.

‘I have got friends in the army and friends who have been in the army.

‘What with the issue with Lee Rigby, I wore the badge out of respect.’

In a statement, Morrisons said: ‘We understand that it’s important to many people to show support for our armed forces. Morrisons is a long time supporter of the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal and we welcome Help for Heroes fundraisers into stores.

‘As a company we encourage store colleagues to show their support for the Royal British Legion by wearing poppies in October and November.

‘We currently ask that colleagues adhere to a company dress code which precludes bracelets and pins. However, we have reviewed these guidelines and colleagues working in non-fresh food preparation areas will now be permitted to wear a registered charity wristband.’

A Royal British Legion official in Portsmouth says Morrisons rules ‘need to be looked at’

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