The BNP hijacked Mitcham’s Remembrance Sunday event, parading a party banner in front of the War Memorial and duping residents to appear in a photograph.

The propaganda shot has since appeared on London Patriot - an extreme right-wing website - sparking fury among those in the picture who believed it was a photocall for the local newspaper.

Witnesses to the event, which happened moments after Mitcham’s Remembrance service finished on November 8, said the BNP banner was deceitfully handed to a group of children at the front of the picture and quickly hidden away after the shot was taken.

Daphne Adkins, 64, was looking on the memorial for the name of her grandfather who died in World War One when the photocall was hastily assembled around her.

She said: “I thought it was just disgraceful. We were completely oblivious to what was going on and I can’t imagine many of the other people knew either. I just thought this was something for the local paper organised by the British Legion.

“Remembrance Sunday has nothing to do with these people. It was sneaky and disrespectful.”

Her son Dean Adkins, 45, a civil servant in the Home Office said he feared his job would be put at risk by association with the BNP.

He said: “There was just no way of telling. All I was trying to do was look for my great grandfather’s name on the monument and it wasn’t until afterwards that my wife told me they were holding up a BNP banner.”

A spokesman for the Royal British Legion, said: “The act of Remembrance must be kept above partisan political politics. These events are about recognising valour and sacrifice.”

Mitcham MP Siobhain McDonagh added: “You don’t go to a Remembrance service and expect to be hoodwinked into a photo for the BNP. This is about paying your respect for those who have lost their lives.

“It’s an invasion of someone’s privacy and a complete abuse of trust. It’s extremely crass that people would choose to use a Remembrance service to make a political point.”

But a spokesman for the BNP said: “We strongly suspect the motivation for some of the complaints received were themselves politically motivated. If any member of the public unwittingly joined the group photograph then we apologise for any misunderstanding.

“We do however find it a sad situation that people feel they may lose their jobs for merely standing with people who are BNP members.”

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