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Putin and Barroso effigies chosen for English bonfires

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By Chris Harris
Putin and Barroso effigies chosen for English bonfires

Tongue-in-cheek English provocateurs have hit out at two of the country’s most controversial targets – by preparing to set effigies of them ablaze.

Huge satirical models of former European Commission president José Manuel Barroso and Russian leader Vladimir Putin, the latter dressed in just a ‘mankini’, have been prepared for traditional bonfire celebrations near London.

Another effigy of Alex Salmond, who resigned from leading the Scottish National Party after losing a referendum on independence from England, was withdrawn after a complaint to police.

England holds a nationwide celebration featuring fireworks and bonfires each November 5 to mark the anniversary of the defeat of a 1605 plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament.

The Putin and Salmond effigies were paraded through Lewes, known for its provocative choices of celebrities to ‘burn’ since setting Osama bin Laden ablaze in 2001.

Barroso, chosen for the flames by bonfire organisers in Edenbridge, is at the centre of a row with London after the EU demanded Britain pay 2.2 billion euros towards the institution’s adjusted budget.

Guy Fawkes, the leader of the “Gunpowder Plot”, is the traditional effigy to be burnt at the patriotic celebrations but in recent years celebrities and leading figures in public life from Britain and abroad have also been included.

Previous targets have included footballers Mario Balotelli and Wayne Rooney, French president Jacques Chirac and Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.