Lewes: Bonfire Night Effigy Dispute

13 November 2014, 11:36

Creating an effigy of former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond for Bonfire night was not a criminal offence, prosecutors have ruled.

Sussex Police launched an investigation after receiving complaints about the effigy created for the annual event at Lewes, East Sussex.

Following the complaint, a decision was taken by the organisers not to burn the effigy. Now a force spokesman has said the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has decided that no further action would be taken.

He said: "Sussex Police received a number of complaints about the portrayal of former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond as an effigy at the 2014 Lewes bonfire event.

"Sussex Police has since presented the complaints to the Crown Prosecution Service and it has been identified that no criminal offence occurred.

"Effigies have long been a tradition at the annual event, with high-profile politicians and celebrities who have recently been in the news being featured in bonfire society processions.

"The event organisers have made it clear that there was no intention to cause insult to anyone or any particular country by the choice of effigy: simply that the person chosen has been a popular media figure in the preceding 12 months.''

Mr Salmond responded to the incident by saying he was "used to insults from Tories in East Sussex''.

Previous effigies at Lewes, one of the largest bonfires in the UK which is attended by 45,000 people, have included David Cameron holding a puppet Nick Clegg which was burned in 2010.

Lewes Bonfire 2013