Driver appalled as manager takes poppy off his van

REMOVED A poppy was taken off a Veolia lorry in error, the company said
REMOVED A poppy was taken off a Veolia lorry in error, the company said

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A MAN has spoken of his disgust at being asked to remove a poppy from the front of his work lorry.

James Yorke, who has worked for Veolia for the past 12 years, was appalled when he was told to remove a poppy from the front of his company vehicle.

The 36-year-old said: ‘I had a sticker in support of the Poppy Appeal and a large poppy on the front of my van and my manager told me to take it off. He ripped off the sticker and threw it away.

‘I was just appalled by it and everyone I have spoken to about it is appalled.’

James said he has always supported the Poppy Appeal by wearing a poppy on his uniform but this year was the first time he had put a poppy on the front of his van.

He said that Veolia has rules to prevent drivers from cluttering up their vans, but that the company was supportive of the Poppy Appeal.

He only put the poppy on after seeing company vehicles from other depots with them on.

James said: ‘The rules are there to stop teddy bears and lights and things like that but anyone with an ounce of common sense would see this is different to that.’

When contacted by The News, Veolia issued a statement that said the Portsmouth depot was wrong to make James remove the poppy.

A spokesman said: ‘We are very supportive of the armed forces and we employ a large number of ex-service personnel within our business.

‘As such, it is not our policy to remove poppies from our vehicles.

‘The poppies from the Portsmouth vehicle fleet were regrettably removed in error and will be replaced.

‘As part of our commitment to the armed services we have contributed to the war memorial in Portsmouth and we will continue to encourage our employees to support a wide range of charitable causes.’

James said he was pleased he would be able to continue to display the poppy, especially as his grandfather was killed in the Second World War.

James said: ‘It is nice to remember him. He gave his life for this country.

‘If I was in that position then I would like to think someone would remember me.’