‘I’ve been made out to be a shirker,’ says Falklands veteran dying of cancer

Divers Garry Nicholas-Hovarth-Toldi and Neil Smith lift a defused bomb out of the Solent

THIS WEEK IN 1995: Second World War bomb legancy haunts the South

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FALKLANDS veteran Gordon Lang has said he feels like he has been made out to be a shirker, a scrounger and a liar after being told he should get back to work – despite having terminal cancer.

Speaking to The News in a video interview, amputee Gordon, 62, described his feeling of ‘betrayal’ after telling a government work programme about his cancer diagnosis, only to receive a response saying: ‘When you feel fit and ready for work we look forward to working with you to find a suitable job.’

05/05/14  BF''Falklands veteran Gordon Lang from Gosport who is having problems claiming benefits which he needs because of his disability.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (141648-4) PPP-140506-101843003

05/05/14 BF''Falklands veteran Gordon Lang from Gosport who is having problems claiming benefits which he needs because of his disability.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (141648-4) PPP-140506-101843003

Ex-marine Mr Lang, of Chilworth Grove, Gosport, said he feels ‘completely let down’ by the system.

‘I feel as though I’ve been made out to be a shirker,’ he said. ‘I feel as though I’ve been made out to be a scrounger.

‘I feel as though I’ve been made out to be a liar. I feel as though I’m actually being punished for having conditions - of which there are quite a few now - that are completely out of my control.’

Mr Lang, who has not been told how long he has to live, was already in a dispute with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) after they forced the Falklands and Northern Ireland veteran to sign on to Jobseeker’s Allowance.

05/05/14  BF''Falklands veteran Gordon Lang from Gosport who is having problems claiming benefits which he needs because of his disability.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (141648-3) PPP-140506-101816003

05/05/14 BF''Falklands veteran Gordon Lang from Gosport who is having problems claiming benefits which he needs because of his disability.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (141648-3) PPP-140506-101816003

The former commando was then told he will remain on a work programme – despite being about to undergo lung cancer treatment that may only add three months to his life.

Shaw Trust in Portsmouth, which administers the work programme, wrote the letter to Mr Lang saying they noted he was not well.

Mr Lang says that was sent after he gave them a medical note when he first fell ill and told them about his terminal condition.

Shaw Trust insist they were not told how serious Mr Lang’s illness was prior to sending the letter, while the war veteran has since been put back on Employment and Support Allowance.

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