Fusiliers heckle defence secretary over army cuts
TWO former members of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, whose spiritual home is Bury, heckled defence secretary Philip Hammond at the opening of the Conservative party conference in Manchester.
Mr Hammond was interuppted during his speech on Sunday by a retired army colonel who called him a disgrace for cut backs to his former regiment.
Last year, Mr Hammond announced controversial plans to axe the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (2RRF).
Colonel Ian Brazier interrupted Mr Hammond's speech to the Conservative Party conference in Manchester to claim the Ministry of Defence had betrayed members of the Royal Fusiliers by cutting the regiment back.
Col Brazier, chairman of the Fusiliers Association, said he was speaking on “behalf of all retired fusiliers”
Meanwhile Conservatives, have welcomed a key new policy that has been announced by David Cameron — which will allow people across the UK to take out 95 per cent mortgages.
The “help to buy” scheme will be launched next week — three months earlier than planned, but there are fears amongst some that the programme could fuel a housing bubble.
Cllr Andy Morgan, deputy leader of the Conservatives in Bolton, said the policy should help people who are “struggling to get on the housing ladder”.
He added: “This will be a welcome boost for first time buyers — people can budget for things like mortgage payments but some will find it really hard to get a deposit together, having to find just five per cent for the deposit will hopefully allow more people to get on the ladder.”
Cllr Morgan had mixed views, however, on another key policy coming out of the conference in Manchester. The proposal means some married couples could get tax breaks worth up to £200 from 2015.
Cllr Morgan said he felt that the policy should apply to “all family units” not just married couples — but he added that the policy was “going down well at conference”.
Party delegates were greeted by a 50,000 strong protest in Manchester on Sunday — described by Greater Manchester Police as one of the largest they had ever policed.
The union demonstration was organised to protest against NHS changes and austerity cuts.
Cllr Morgan said that while protests were expected, he and other delegates were “very surprised” by the scale of the demonstrations.
He said: “It was very well organised by the unions and it sent out a big message. We need to focus on getting our message across because if we are not doing that we are failing.”
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