MPs calls on public to ‘download a poppy’ and donate online during lockdown

With Covid-19 restrictions impacting the traditional sale of poppies ahead of Remembrance Day, an MP has urged the public to “download a poppy” and donate online instead.

Conservative MP Andy Carter (Warrington South) said the virus restrictions could impact the Royal British Legion’s annual poppy collection.

He told the Commons: “Those restrictions also mean that poppy sellers, many of them themselves veterans, won’t be able to stand on the streets and raise funds for the Royal British Legion.”

During business questions, he asked Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg: “I wonder if he will join with me in encouraging everyone to log online to the Royal British Region’s website and download a poppy and donate so that the work of the Royal British Legion can continue to support both veterans and their families?”

The Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey in 2018 (Kirsty O'Connor/PA)
The Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey in 2018 (Kirsty O'Connor/PA)

Responding, Mr Rees-Mogg said: “Poppy sellers are such a wonderful part of the fabric of our nation.

“They are such a varied group of people who have such a commitment to remembering those who gave their lives to ensure that we could live in freedom.

As England heads into another national lockdown for the first time in #PoppyAppeal history there will be no collectors on our streets. We need you more than ever. Donate & download a poppy poster for your window & share your pics using #everypoppycounts ➡️

— Royal British Legion (@PoppyLegion) November 4, 2020

“And therefore my honourable friend is right to say that people should go to the website and donate that way if they can’t do what they would usually do and allow some coins, or preferably notes, to clink – although obviously, notes don’t clink – into a poppy collector’s tin – although it’s not a tin is it, it’s a plastic container.

“But I think everybody in this House knows what I mean.”

Next Wednesday, on Armistice Day, MPs will hold a special debate in the Commons on the armed forces and their contribution to society.