Former Labour spin chief Alastair Campbell has been slammed for ‘taking the p***’ out of veterans in an offensive video mocking the Dominic Cummings row.
The two-minute video, which was posted to Twitter this afternoon, captures Campbell as he impersonates the Prime Minister recounting a bizarre fake meeting with the Queen.
Campbell, Tony Blair‘s former spokesman and campaign director, wears a General Service Medal in the clip, which sparked anger among military veterans who earned the honour in service.
He later confirmed the military medals and Guards tie were left to him by his late brother Donald, who served in the Scots Guards until he was ‘invalided out with schizophrenia.’
In the clip, which has since been deleted, he said: ‘I’m wearing a Guards tie because I’ve just been to see the Queen, I always wear I Guards tie when I go to see the Queen. I hope she thinks I’m a bit of a war hero.
‘I am a bit of a war hero really,’ he adds, pointing to two medals on his jacket, ‘I got this one for Brexit and a new one Dom [Cummings] gave me this morning for saving him at the Battle of Durham Dom, big win.
Former Labour spin chief Alastair Campbell has been slammed for ‘taking the p***’ out of veterans in an offensive video (pictured) mocking the Dominic Cummings row
‘Big war, big win. Anyway, I saw the Queen. Lovely lady, I always have a picture of her on the wall although she is with some of her other Prime Ministers, Blair, don’t know the others but I’m her favourite.’
The video was posted in response to the on-going Dominic Cummings row, which began last week when it emerged the Prime Minister’s chief aide had travelled 260 miles to Durham amid the nationwide lockdown.
‘I said to her “Queenie, darling, I’ve got a lovely idea, breaking news” – she loves me to give her ideas and keep the news agenda going and get Dominic off the front pages to be frank – so I said “How about we change the lyrics of the National Anthem?”
‘She looked at me puzzled to be frank but I said “Give it a go, let me give it a go”,’ he continued, before launching into a satirical rendition of the National Anthem.
‘God save my gracious Dom, long live my darling Dom. God save my Dom,’ he sang. ‘Send him to face the press, that should clear up the mess. Like Andrew’s pizza express, God save my Dom.’
The video sparked outrage on social media, with Help for Heroes dubbing it ‘offensive to those who have proudly served this country.’
‘Although we’re sure it wasn’t the intent, this video is offensive to those who have proudly served this country,’ the charity said in a tweet.
‘We respectfully ask that @campbellclaret removes the post as quickly as possible.’
Former British Army officer and Tory MP Johnny Mercer accused Campbell of ‘taking the p***’ out of Servicemen and Women.’
The pair were involved in a heated conversation on Twitter this afternoon, but Mercer later deleted a series of tweets from the interaction.
‘Why are you taking the p*** out of Servicemen and Women?’ he said. ‘What have they got to do with your descent into the farce you have become?
Campbell wears a General Service Medal in the clip, which has sparked anger among military veterans who earned the honour in Service
The two-minute video, which was posted to Twitter this afternoon, captures Campbell as he pretends to be the Prime Minister recounting a bizarre meeting with the Queen
‘And wearing the GSM that was all some parents got back when their children were killed in Service of the Nation in places like Northern Ireland?
‘In my role now I’ve found some of the treatment you gave to the Armed Forces during your time in No 10 pretty disgusting: Iraq; Northern Ireland etc.
‘It all stems from a woeful under appreciation of the Military by the political class at the time, that you embody in this video.’
In a statement, Campbell claimed Mercer had ‘made a number of false allegations about my time working for the Blair government.’
Others took to Twitter to criticise the rant, with one man claiming it is ‘the most offensive thing I have seen throughout these times.’
‘Why is he wearing my regimental tie? People EARN those,’ he added. ‘The medals? WTF? People die winning those.
‘And I haven’t even mentioned sending actual soldiers into battle illegally and under equipped. Apologise man!’
The video sparked outrage on social media, with former British Army officer and Tory MP Johnny Mercer accusing Campbell of ‘taking the p*** out of Servicemen and Women’
Others took to Twitter to criticise the rant, with one man claiming it is ‘the most offensive thing I have seen throughout these times’
Another added: ‘As a former Guardsmen, somehow, as you NEVER SERVED, never mind in the Brigade of Guards, I take offence [at your] so-called “current antics”.
‘I shall be making an official complaint.’
In a statement, Campbell said: ‘This morning, I posted a series of satirical musical videos about the Johnson/Cummings scandal. In one, I wore a Guards tie and military medals, and impersonated (not as well as Matt Lucas) Boris Johnson.
‘Since, I have been engaged in a heated public row on Twitter with defence minister Johnny Mercer, who made a number of false allegations about my time working for the Blair government.
‘I stand by what I said to Mr Mercer in reply, though I have also corresponded privately on the matter in a more measured way, to point out both my family and personal connections with the military, and also some of the issues on which he criticised me, such as Northern Ireland, to which I have devoted much time and energy over two decades.
‘I also pointed out that since leaving the employ of the Government in 2003, I have continued to work, pro bono, and always privately, for different parts of the military, including recently during this crisis. Indeed, he seemed to be aware of one element of this work. I also actively support military charities, especially on mental health.
‘However, I subsequently learned that Help for Heroes, for whom I have enormous admiration for their campaigning, fund-raising and service delivery skills, had politely requested me to take down the video.
‘Though they removed their tweet at some time during my discussion with Mr Mercer, I understand it said that while they had no doubt it was not my intention to cause offence, there was a risk some might take it.
‘I have therefore deleted the video. Help for Heroes is right that no offence was meant. I was satirising Mr Johnson, whose conduct during the Covid crisis, especially in recent days, I have found reprehensible.
‘I have spent many days writing and campaigning in a hopefully serious way on the issues at stake, and decided this morning to do something more light-hearted. Most people seemed to see it for what it was – a piece of satire, especially as I have never served in the Guards, let alone won military medals.’
He added that the Guards tie and medals he wore in the clip were left to him by his late brother, who served in the Scots Guards.
‘Anyone who knows how close we were knows I would never do anything to mock him, his memory, his medals, or what the Armed Forces stand for,’ he added.
‘Despite the unhappy ending to his military career, he had nothing but good memories and respect for what he learned and experienced with them.’
His statement added: ‘As I told Mr Mercer, I am in a genuine rage about the Government’s catastrophic handling of the Covid crisis, and the more they ask me to stop scrutinising and challenging them, the more I will do it.
‘However, Help for Heroes is an entirely different matter. I am grateful both for the tone and the content of their request to remove the video.
‘Although their tweet seems to have been deleted, perhaps as a result of them seeing my comments to Mr Mercer, I nonetheless think the right thing for me to do is to remove the video, so they, and anyone who may have taken offence, can be absolutely sure that such offence to them was the last thing I had in mind. It was directed entirely at Mr Johnson and his government colleagues, and I am sorry if that was not clear.’
Source: Daily Mail – Articles