Mr Brown, You Have Cost My Family a Husband and Father

The Evening Standard (London, England), September 17, 2009 | Go to article overview

Mr Brown, You Have Cost My Family a Husband and Father


Byline: JoeMurphy political editor

THE family of a young father killed in Afghanistan has written a letter blaming the Prime Minister.

Serjeant Paul McAleese died on 20 August when a bomb went off as he rushed to help a comrade dying from injuries sustained in an earlier blast.

His father-in-law, Stephen Minter, wrote in a letter to Gordon Brown: "Because of you I now have a 26-year-oldaughter with no husband and a five-month-old grandson with no father."

His bitter criticism came on the day that the bodies of two more soldiers were being returned to Britain.

Corporal John Harrison, 29, was the special forces paratrooper who died rescuing a kidnapped journalist. Kingsman Jason Dunn-Bridgeman, 20, of 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, died in a firefight in the Babaji district of Helmand province on Sunday. Crowds were expected to line the streets of Wootton Bassett as the coffins drive through. It has emerged that the Queen is supporting a call to rename the patriotic village Royal Wooton Basset in gratitude for the way it honours the war dead.

Two more soldiers killed in the conflict were due to be named this evening.

Mr Minter's letter said the family was "extremely angry" because Sjt McAleese's death was "needless and avoidable". …

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