The arch-Thatcherite leading attacks on Jeremy Corbyn for ‘failing to bow enough’ at the Cenotaph yesterday previously complained about elderly army veterans ‘taking up park benches’ in his town — and even defended a fellow Tory MP who bought a Nazi uniform.
Accusing Corbyn of being “an embarrassment”, comments from former minister Sir Gerald Howarth were lapped up by a right-wing press determined to run a story attacking Corbyn no matter what actually happened on Remembrance Sunday:
“The Leader of the Opposition needs to understand that you cannot compromise on respect for our fallen, because it is those of our country who have put their lives on the line in two world wars who safeguarded for us the freedom to speak our minds today.
“He is a beneficiary of the sacrifice those men and women were prepared to make, and he needs to be uncompromising in his gratitude for them.
Yes, we should respect those who have risked their lives for our country — unless they served in the British Army’s Gurkha Brigade.
MP for Aldershot, the so-called ‘home of the British Army’, Howarth has previously attacked Gurkha veterans who settled in the town — some of whom fought in the Falklands — complaining that they, errrrrr, monopolise benches:
“I was walking around in Aldershot on Saturday and everywhere I went there were Nepalese just basically sitting out in the open … sitting out on the park benches.
“Quite clearly, people in Aldershot I tell you are absolutely fed up and had enough of this.
The hypocrisy doesn’t end there.
When a fellow Tory MP bought a Third Reich SS officer uniform in a calculated attempt to offend locals in an area occupied by the Nazis during World War II, Howarth dismissed the scandal as “high jinks”, claiming astonishingly:
“We’ve all done it from time to time.”
In contrast, Corbyn is reported to have snubbed a VIP reception following the ceremony to mingle with veterans and applaud a march-past.
UPDATE: Listen to Howarth defending Nazi party organiser MP …