British National Party leader Nick Griffin compared UK generals to Nazi war criminals last night after they accused his party of hijacking military symbols.
His remarks came amid last-ditch efforts to stop the BBC screening a Question Time debate featuring Mr Griffin on Thursday.
A statement on the BNP website lashed out at senior figures including ex-army chiefs General Sir Mike Jackson and General Sir Richard Dannatt. It accused them of “breaking all military protocol” by writing to The Times voicing anger at the BNP's use of images of Winston Churchill and Spitfire planes during recent European election campaigns.
“The Nuremberg War Crimes Trials set the precedent when the leaders of Nazi Germany were charged with invading other countries which represented no military threat to Germany,” Mr Griffin said.
“Sir Richard and Sir Mike fall squarely into this bracket and they must not think that they will escape culpability for pursuing the illegal wars in Iran and Afghanistan.”
However, in their letter, the generals called “on all those who seek to hijack the good name of Britain's military for their own advantage to cease and desist”.
General Jackson specifically attacked the BNP for using the Army's image.
“How dare they use the image of the Army, in particular, to promote their policies. These people are beyond the pale,” he said.
But Mr Griffin said his party was popular among the forces’ rank-and-file.