Row as French mayor puts up official picture honouring Nazi collaborator Petain in town liberated by Britain in World War II

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A French mayor has insulted the memory of hundreds of British soldiers who died liberating his village by displaying a portrait of a notorious Nazi collaborator.

Bernard Hoye, civic leader of Gonneville-sur-Mer, in Normandy, insists on honouring Philippe Petain, the Vichy leader who brought shame on his country during the Second World War.

This is despite the fact that British commandoes including the Royal Marines and SAS spent days fighting off the town's German garrison in the weeks after D-Day.

Now Christian Leyrit, the Lower Normandy prefect - or government representative - has written to Mr Hoye 'in the strongest possible terms' telling him to remove Petain's picture 'immediately'.

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