Toiletries and beauty specialist Bodycare has ended a ban on staff wearing poppies after its policy prompted a storm of protest and intervention by an MP.

The privately owned retailer, which has approximately 100 shops, ordered a staff member in Wigan to remove her poppy from her uniform. Bodycare said it believed the poppy came within the terms of a ban on all badges reflecting personal beliefs.

The decision drew outrage from the local Veterans Council and local MP Lindsay Hoyle held discussions with the retailer, which has subsequently changed its stance.

Hoyle told the BBC: “Common sense has prevailed and quite rightly they’re allowing their staff to wear the poppy.”

Bodycare said: “We are happy to change our policy and allow our members of staff to continue wearing their poppies. As our policy has always been intended to ensure that we do not cause offence to anyone, we hope we have not done so and sincerely apologise if that has been the unintended effect.”