Poppy Appeal: Boris Johnson buys poppy to support Royal British Legion’s centenary campaign

Boris Johnson was greeted at the door to Number 10 by five poppy appeal fundraisers.

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The Prime Minister has purchased a poppy outside 10 Downing Street, lending his support to the Royal British Legion’s centenary appeal.

The red flower – a common sight on the Western Front – became a symbol of remembrance for those killed in the First World War as the conflict drew to a close.

Boris Johnson was greeted at the door to Number 10 by five poppy appeal fundraisers.

Tom Dempsey, an 84-year-old Army veteran, said it was “amazing” to sell a paper flower to the Prime Minister, who made his donation on a card machine.

“He just made it so relaxing, as if he was one of your family,” Mr Dempsey told the PA news agency.

Mr Dempsey, who has been collecting for the annual poppy appeal for 20 years, said the campaign is “very important”.

He added: “We would appreciate anybody from anywhere, any walk of life, please come give us a hand.

“We do well but we would love to do more.”

Founded in 1921, the poppy appeal raises funds for veterans, serving personnel and their families.

Mr Dempsey, who served as sergeant in the 151 (London) Transport Regiment, also said he is delighted to be back fundraising in the community, after Covid-19 restrictions put a pause on that in 2020.

The tradition is resuming this year in the run-up to Armistice Day, with the Royal British Legion expecting 40,000 collectors to distribute poppies across the country.

In brief remarks, the Prime Minster urged everyone to buy a “Remembrance symbol”.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall launched the annual campaign at Clarence House on Tuesday.