Anger as ‘rude’ minister gets big promotion

MEETING Cdr Eddie Grenfell tackling veterans minister Andrew Robathan in the Great Hall in Winchester
MEETING Cdr Eddie Grenfell tackling veterans minister Andrew Robathan in the Great Hall in Winchester
HMS Queen Elizabeth as she started her second phase of sea trials last month. Photo: LPhot Kyle Heller

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OUTRAGED war veterans have blasted David Cameron after he promoted disgraced defence minister Andrew Robathan to a senior role in the MoD.

Veterans of the Second World War Arctic Convoys called for Mr Robathan to be sacked last year after he offensively compared their campaign for a medal to the high number of honours dished out by dictators like Colonel Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein.

Mr Robathan, who was veterans minister at the time, later apologised for the comment which came weeks after he clashed with the war heroes in Winchester.

On that occasion, he rudely asked the nonagenarians if the medal was their ‘dying wish’.

The veterans sent letters to Mr Cameron asking for Mr Robathan to be stripped of his ministerial portfolio.

Now he has been – only to be given the job as the Minister for Armed Forces instead.

Commander Eddie Grenfell, 92, of Portsea, who is leader of the Arctic Medal Campaign, said: ‘This is an absolute disgrace. He has no manners and insulted the Arctic veterans in the most appalling ways. We told Mr Cameron he should have sacked him, instead he’s promoted him. It beggars belief.’

Lt Cdr Dick Dykes, 92, who also leads the medal campaign, added: ‘To go and promote him smacks of patronage.’

The veterans, who sailed in freezing temperatures in enemy-infested waters to supply Russia, are awaiting the outcome of yet another review of the medals system.

Downing Street had not responded to a call for a comment from The News by the time of going to press.