SQUABBLING among the UK’s political elite needs to end and a strong leader must emerge before Britain can finally agree Brexit terms with Europe, Falklands War hero Simon Weston has demanded.
The former Welshguardsman, who suffered horrific burns to half his body when his ship Sir Galahad was bombed during the 1982 conflict, slammed politicians for failing to agree a deal and accused MPs of putting their personal interests above those of the nation.
Tomorrow will see Tory MPs casting their first votes on who of the 10 leadership candidates they would like to see as the next prime minister, with an eventual winner being announced on Monday, July 22.
But Mr Weston warned Brexit was overshadowing Britain’s commitment to defend smaller, vulnerable countries from dictators and terror groups.
Speaking to The News ahead of the 37th anniversary of the end of the Falklands War this week, he said: ‘The Falklands War showed how important swift and decisive leadership could be.
‘That’s something we just don’t have at the moment. We need to have strong leadership.
‘Far too many people have been more concerned about their own position in the world – not what is best for the country.
‘I would like to see people do what they were elected to do and not what they think about their own position.’
His comments came as former foreign secretary Boris Johnson officially launched his bid to secure the keys to Number 10 at an event in London today.
Speaking at a packed house, the Tory front-runner insisted he was ‘not aiming for a no-deal outcome’ for Brexit.
But he said leaving no deal on the table was a ‘vital tool of negotiation’ and Britain ‘must do better than the current withdrawal agreement’.
‘Delay means defeat, delay means Corbyn,’ he said, saying the UK must leave the EU on October 31.
But Mr Weston insisted any further delays would be an insult the country and would threaten to put the nation’s international commitments on hold.
‘We have a fight to get Brexit sorted out,’ he said.’Any global conflicts that requires our armed force’s response is so far on the backburner right now.
‘We have to deal with our own crazy, mixed political position before anything else.’
Friday will see the 37th anniversary of the end of the Falklands War, with a service due to take place at Portsmouth’s Falklands Memorial in Broad Street, Old Portsmouth.
The conflict lasted just 74 days but saw 255 British and at least 650 Argentines killed.
Mr Weston urged as many people to attend Friday’s service in Portsmouth, at 10am.
But he warned Britain should never lose sight of its role in defending global freedom.
‘We’re a reactive force that responds to evil,’ he said. ‘Evil wins battles but never wars.
‘The only way we can stop evil is by reacting and by remembering the bravery of those people that go to these far-flung places to defend democracy and freedom.
‘We must never let dictators push anyone around like bullies and force one nation to do their bidding.’