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Thousands Back Petition For Lee Rigby Memorial

Wednesday 28th May 2014

More than 7,000 people have signed an online petition calling for a permanent memorial to Fusilier Lee Rigby in Woolwich.

Lee Rigby The young soldier was deliberately run over before being hacked to death by Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale in front of horrified witnesses on 22nd May 2013.

Adebolajo was given a whole-life term for the murder and Adebowale was jailed for at least 45 years.

Speaking to LBC ahead of the one year anniversary last week Boris said City Hall will support the plan for a memorial in Woolwich.

"I think it was an absolutely shocking event and it's very, very important that we should remember Lee Rigby and our thoughts obviously remain with his family and his loved ones," the Mayor of London commented.

"It is vital that we come together as a city and we remember the work that is being done day in, day out by our security forces, by our intelligence services and I'm delighted to see Lee Rigby's killers now being brought to justice.

"I think there are issues that need to be worked out with how the family would like Lee Rigby memorialised and how the council would like to do it but certainly here in City Hall we've indicated that we're fully in support."

Religious groups, including the Islamic Society of Britain and the Conservative Muslim Forum have expressed their support for the plan however both the local authority and MP Nick Raynsford have rejected the campaign.

Mr Raynsford said the way the community reacted to the death of Lee Rigby - several people stood between his body and two killers - "was very impressive" however he said that the local community wanted to "avoid the shadow" of the event hanging over the area.

"It would not in my view be helpful for the site where Lee Rigby was murdered to be marked in perpetuity by a memorial as this would be a continuing reminder of the brutal murder and might attract undesirable interest from extremists."

My Raynsford believes a memorial would be better placed in Lee Rigby's home town in Lancashire.

However an online petition on the Government's website calling for the erection of a monument in London is now gathering pace.

Created by Ian Smart it calls for a trust to be set up to collect money to pay for its construction and upkeep and has been signed by more than 7,000 people.

See the petition>>