Shell has reversed its ban on poppy appeal collections at its petrol stations. The oil company has also apologised to any customers upset by its original decision not to allow the collection boxes to be put on display at its sites. The announcement came after reports that forces veterans were threatening to boycott Shell over the ban.

A Shell spokeswoman said: "Having reviewed our policy and listened to customers, we are happy to

endorse collection boxes for the Poppy Appeal at Shell petrol stations. We realise our customers have been upset by our original policy. We apologise.

"The main reason we did not have collection boxes was to reduce the risk of robberies that sometimes occur at petrol stations. We support The Royal British Legion and the Poppy Appeal. We have collections in our offices.

"Furthermore we had already arranged with The Royal British Legion for a projection of poppies onto our building in central London to help publicise the Poppy Appeal."