Mourners calling for "respect" for the graves of their loved ones have received backing from politicians.

Last night councillors were presented with a petition of 2,200 signatures from people against graves at Carpenders Park Cemetery, in Oxhey Lane, being turned into a lawn cemetery.

The site is run by Brent Borough Council and in 2007 Harrow Borough Council opened a section of the graveyard for Harrow residents.

Last month relatives found staff removing crosses, flowers and photographers from the graves of their loved ones.

Susan Johnston, who has been leading the campaign, told councillors: “We want respect for our loved ones.

“Let us keep our personal crosses on our loved ones graves and let them rest in peace.”

Cabinet member for environment Councillor Varsha Parmar said: “The large number of signatures shows the strength of feeling on this very sensitive issue.

“I take this petition very seriously and as soon as I was notified of the issue regarding Carpenders Park Cemetery I immediately instructed our officers in Harrow to ask Brent council to stop the removal of personal items and artefacts.

“I shall be seeking an extension in time, before the removal of further personal artefacts and using this time productively to resolve this situation and come to a solution for all.

“I would like to reiterate the administration’s commitment to supporting the petitioner and other local residents at this very sensitive time.”

Council leader Cllr David Perry said he wanted to work with the campaign group for a possible delegation to go to Brent Council.

Conservative group leader Cllr Susan Hall said: “I would like to give our groups full support in resolving what is a very sensitive issue. This is not about party politics.

“From visiting the site I believe there are vast inconstancies with what is going on at the site.”