Son of Dame Vivienne Westwood sets fire to punk memorabilia worth millions on Thames

The son of Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren and Dame Vivienne Westwood has set fire to millions of pounds of punk memorabilia on a boat on the River Thames.

Joe Corre torched the items – said to be worth £5 million – alongside effigies of politicians loaded with fireworks, as part of a protest near the Albert Bridge in Chelsea, London.

Dummies of David Cameron, Theresa May and George Osborne were among those engulfed in flames, as well as a chest containing clothes, posters and other memorabilia belonging to Joe.

A crowd – including Dame Vivienne – gathered on the bank of the river to watch on as the items burnt and fireworks exploded in the sky.

Joe, who was wearing a top hat and bandana tied around his head, told the crowd before setting the items alight: “Punk was never, never meant to be nostalgic – and you can’t learn how to be one at a Museum of London workshop.

“Punk has become another marketing tool to sell you something you don’t need. The illusion of an alternative choice. Conformity in another uniform.”

Joe, who founded lingerie company Agent Provocateur, previously said he was angered by Punk London’s plans to mark 40 years of the sub-culture.

The programme, which includes events, gigs and exhibitions, is supported by partners including the Mayor of London, British Library and British Film Institute.

Joe said he wanted to highlight “the hypocrisy at the core of this hijacking of 40 years of Anarchy In The UK”, which was released in November 26 1976, in a blog post about the protest.

He called on those watching the spectacle to confront taboos and not tolerate hypocrisy, while warning of the dangers of climate change.

A banner on the boat read: “Extinction! Your future.”

Dame Vivienne leant out of the back window on the top deck of the group’s green-branded bus as she addressed the crowd following her son’s protest.

Calling for more people to switch to green energy, she said: “This is the first step towards a free world. It’s the most important thing you could ever do in your life.”

She added: “I never knew what to say before… ever since punk… we never had a strategy then, that’s why we never got anywhere.

“This is so ridiculously easy. Let’s all have a laugh and stay alive.”

Several fire engines and police cars attended the protest and a fire service boat helped to extinguish the flames.

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