‘Offensive’ Next Christmas jumper sparks fury with petition launched to pull it

Lockerbie locals are up in arms over a Pan Am Christmas jumper sold by Next, which they say is "offensive" to victims of the bombing that happened 35 years ago next week.

More than 1,000 people signed a petition in just one day, demanding the festive jumper with the airline's logo, costing £36, be taken off the retailer's website. Pan Am's Flight 103 was blown up over Lockerbie on December 21, 1988, when a bomb was planted on the plane.

The horrific event, which took place just four days before Christmas, claimed the lives of 270 people, including 243 passengers, 16 crew members and 11 people on the ground. The jumper has been slammed as "offensive and disrespectful", "disgusting" and "absolutely shocking" by those who signed the petition started by Phil Geddes.

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Posted on petition website Change.org, it states: "As a resident of the town at the time of the Lockerbie bombing, an event that has left an indelible mark on the lives of many, hundreds of people.

"This item, in its design or message, is offensive and disrespectful to those affected by this tragic event. The pain and trauma it caused are still felt today by countless individuals around the world. To see a product that makes light of such a tragedy or uses it for commercial gain is not only insensitive but also deeply hurtful."

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Many of those who have signed the petition have personal connections to the tragic event. One person wrote: "I worked at the local hospital the night of the Lockerbie disaster and its as fresh in my mind 35 years later as it was back then. This jumper needs to be taken off the market immediately."

Another said: "I attended Lockerbie Academy and this is repulsive! I lost a friend on flight 103. This is beyond distasteful." And another added: "As a former resident of Lockerbie, this is nothing short of disgraceful."

So far, 1,176 people have signed the petition, and the Daily Star has reached out to Next for a comment.

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