BOLTON Council has apologised for calling the Brexit Party to place a wreath at its official town centre Remembrance Day event when the town’s MPs were barred from taking part.

Special ‘Purdah’ rules because of next month’s General Election mean that political figures and organisations should not take part in civic events.

Bolton’s three former MPs - Yasmin Qureshi, Sir David Crausby and Chris Green - were forbidden from placing wreaths during Sunday’s official ceremony.

But those attending on Sunday were surprised to hear the Brexit Party for Bolton North-East called to place their tribute to the fallen of two world wars and other conflicts on the Victoria Square memorial.

Conservative candidate for Bolton West Chris Green said: “It should not have happened.”

Sir David, who is standing to represent the town’s North-East constituency, said: “I was surprised to hear the Brexit Party had been called to place a wreath. I waited till the following morning, Armistice Day, to place my own wreath in the war memorial to show respect..”

His Brexit Party opponent Trevor Jones said: “It was a mistake. We should not have been called out by the announcer.

“We waited until after the official ceremony to place our wreath following Ms Qureshi.”

A council spokesperson said: “We apologise to Sir David Crausby and all the other candidates. We are in the pre-election period and there are strict rules governing what publicity can take place using council resources. No candidate should have been part of the official Remembrance Sunday ceremony, but all candidates were welcome to attend the service and to lay wreaths once the official ceremony had taken place.”

Mr Green placed wreaths after the official ceremonies at Atherton and Blackrod and had aides place one on his behalf following the Bolton town centre service.