British minister praises Prince Harry's 'bravery'
Prince Harry has done well for his country during his time serving as a helicopter co-pilot gunner in Afghanistan, a British government minister said yesterday.
Defence minister Mark Francois said the 28-year-old, third in line to the British throne, who has just served a 20-week stint in Afghanistan on the Apache helicopter, should be commended for his bravery.
Speaking during a debate in the Commons about redundancies to the army, Mr Francois paid tribute to Prince Harry’s role in Afghanistan.
“I am sure the whole house will join me in paying tribute to [Prince Harry’s] service in theatre in Afghanistan.
“Captain Wales, as I understand he prefers to be called in the army, has done well for his country and his service and we commend him.”
Mr Francois’s comments came after MP Ian Paisley jnr said he was “delighted” at the prince’s safe return. “A grateful nation is, of course, grateful for his service,” he said.
However, not everyone agreed. Earlier, the prince was described as being “arrogant and insensitive” after he spoke of killing Taliban insurgents during his latest tour of Afghanistan. He said in a series of media interviews that he took fighters “out of the game” during his 20-week posting.
Lindsey German, convenor of the Stop the War Coalition, said the comments were “crass” and asked how the prince knew those he killed were members of the Taliban.
“In recent months many civilians have been killed by air strikes. This arrogant and insensitive attitude to killing Afghans, whoever they are, is hardly likely to win hearts and minds – a supposed aim of the war,” she said.
“Prince Harry returns to a life of idleness and luxury, unlike most soldiers who face unemployment, austerity and social problems.” – (PA)