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Keir Starmer criticises Johnny Mercer for attack on candidate’s service record

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Keir Starmer criticises Johnny Mercer for attack on candidate's service record

Sir Keir Starmer has criticised a politician who accused his rival of mendacity about his navy report.

The Labour chief stated Conservative Johnny Mercer was “unhappy and determined” after he claimed Fred Thomas, a former Royal Marine standing for Labour within the constituency of Plymouth Moor View, was by no means “in fight missions” as was reported within the Guardian in 2023.

Mr Mercer, a former Military officer and veterans’ minister, stated Mr Thomas “needs to be held to account” after accusing him of “boasting” his navy service.

Mr Thomas stated he remained “unable to debate a lot of my service”.

Chatting with reporters in London, Sir Keir stated Mr Thomas was a veteran “who’s received a proud report of service”.

He stated the feedback confirmed the Conservatives had been “get together first by means of and thru and nation second” which was the “flawed approach spherical”.

“I feel that is unhappy desperation that the veterans minister is attacking one other veteran who’s received a proud report of service,” he stated.

“It is determined.”

Responding, Mr Mercer stated: “I’m responsible as charged for being a tragic man who’s reasonably quaint and thinks veterans who boast in newspapers about their report in fight to be able to get elected needs to be held to account, significantly if it seems to be unfaithful.

“It’s deeply offensive and disrespectful to those that do really shed blood for the nation.”

Mr Thomas stated he had proudly served his nation for seven years “together with abroad on operations”.

“I stay unable to debate a lot of my service, one thing which Johnny Mercer – as a former defence minister – is keenly conscious of,” he stated.

“I stay up for utilizing on daily basis till 4 July to take the message of Keir Starmer’s modified Labour Social gathering to the voters of Plymouth Moor View.”

Mr Mercer first made the accusations at a hustings in Plymouth on Wednesday.

He stated he didn’t dispute Mr Thomas’s service within the Royal Marines or that he “certainly performed one operational tour the place he discovered himself in difficult environments – quite the opposite I respect his service”.

However he stated serving in fight had “a particular that means and carries particular tasks”.

The Labour Social gathering on Friday informed the BBC Mr Thomas had been misreported within the Guardian article.

Mr Thomas cited his certificates of valediction which was signed by an unnamed commanding officer of the Particular Forces Assist Group.

The opposite candidates in Plymouth Moor View are Shaun Hooper for Reform UK, Sarah Martin for the Liberal Democrats and Georgia Nelson for the Inexperienced Social gathering.

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