Retired senior British military commanders have accused the far right of hijacking military symbols for "their own dubious ends," amid a debate over whether an increasingly high-profile anti-immigration party should be given a prime-time platform on national television.
The Times newspaper on Tuesday published parts of a letter from four generals saying extremists and racists "are fundamentally at odds with the values of the modern British military" and calling on "all those who seek to hijack the good name of Britain's military for their own advantage to cease and desist."
The letter was signed by former army chiefs Gen. Mike Jackson and Gen. Richard Dannatt and two others.
The white-supremacist British National Party has used military symbols such as a Spitfire fighter plane and wartime leader Winston Churchill in campaign literature.
The BNP opposes immigration and says it fights for "indigenous" Britons. It has sought - with mixed results - to shed a thuggish image and enter the political mainstream.