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Councillor under fire for soldier tweet
A GREEN councillor is under pressure to resign and has apologised after claiming a military parade brought “hired killers onto the streets”.
Ben Duncan, Brighton and Hove councillor for the Queen’s Park ward, tweeted the comment as the city remembered military heroes during Armed Forces Day on Sunday.
He said: “Armed Forces Day has certainly brought the hired killers onto the streets of #Brighton today. Hard to explain to my son!”
The remark sparked angry responses from hundreds of Twitter users who called him “spineless” and “ungrateful”.
War veterans and fellow politicians have called for his resignation from the council following the gaffe.
D-Day veteran Dean Hollis, 89, added: “It makes me feel aggravated, upset and insulted. We gave a lot for people like him. It’s a disgrace and he should apologise.
“He enjoys living in a civilised country because those he insulted put their lives down for him.”
Edward Bell, first officer at Irish Defence Forces Veterans UK, said: “He shouldn’t be a councillor. A councillor is someone who represents the people – including the armed forces.”
Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, called on her party to discipline Mr Duncan if he did not immediately apologise.
He later obliged and said: “Apols for offence caused by tweet re soldiers on streets. Many will hav been remembering loved ones who died & was insensitive to their loss.”[sic] But Councillor Warren Morgan, leader of the Brighton and Hove Labour Group, said he should “resign and do so quickly”.
He added: “His comments are stupid and offensive, particularly when we are marking the anniversaries of D-Day and World War One.”
A change.org petition has also been started calling for the councillor’s resignation. Geoffrey Theobald, leader of Brighton and Hove Conservatives, said: “This is just one more in a long line of ludicrous and offensive comments from him.
“He does not speak for the vast majority of residents in this city and I’m sure that most people would be glad to see the back of him.”
Mr Duncan faced calls to resign in 2012 after saying he only smoked cannabis when “murdering, raping and looting".
A Green Group spokeswoman said: “Councillor Duncan’s personal views do not reflect those of his colleagues.
“He has recognised the hurt he caused and publicly apologised for his comments. The Green Group is considering what, if any, further action will be taken.”
The Argus asked Mr Duncan for a comment but did not receive a response.