James Forsyth

Playing politics with injured veterans

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Derek Draper has just posted a remarkably crass item on LabourList. Headlined ‘A challenge to Dave: Get your councillors to help Joe Townsend NOW’, he demands that Cameron get the Tory controlled Wealden District Council to reverse their decision and allow planning permission for a bungalow to be built for Joe Townsend, a Marine who lost both legs serving his country in Afghanistan. I think we can all agree that permission should be granted for this bungalow, it is the least that can be done for someone who has sacrificed so much for us. Indeed, both David Cameron and Gordon Brown have already called on the council to change tack.

Draper writes:

“David Cameron had sent a message of support. BUT Cameron can do more than support this. He can call, now, on the 33 Tory councillors in Wealden to reverse their decision.”

But the council has made clear it is going to reverse its decision which makes Draper’s call seem otiose. One has to wonder if he is just doing it to score political points. Indeed, reading how Draper ends the post one doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry:

“Come on, Dave, pitch in and join Gordon Brown in calling for a change of heart. Show some leadership to your councillors. Let's put politics to one side and build Joe his bungalow.”

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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