Sunday 18 March 2018

Cameron hits out at 'sick' Labour gaffe

Emily Ashton and Andrew Woodcock

DAVID Cameron has called on Gordon Brown to apologise for sending campaign leaflets on cancer policy to people who suffered from the disease, denouncing Labour's tactics as "sick".

Labour strongly denied that the postcards were specifically targeted at cancer sufferers, but Tory leader Mr Cameron said many recipients had been "very angry and very upset".

Personalised cards were sent to 250,000 women last month, warning that a Conservative government would scrap a Labour guarantee that all suspected breast cancer patients would be seen by a specialist within two weeks of referral.

The 'Sunday Times' reported that some women who received the cards were cancer patients or had previously suffered from the illness.

In an interview, Mr Cameron said: "I think this is just an absolutely appalling way to behave. If Gordon Brown has a moral compass he should get it out and have a good look at it and apologise to these people straight away.

"The first thing that Labour needs to do is withdraw these leaflets and write and apologise to the people who have received them and to pledge not to use these tactics in the future because frankly it's sick."

The mailshots, which featured a message from a breast cancer survivor praising Labour's policy, referred to the addressee's name several times.

But Labour denied targeting patients and said that cancer was sadly so prevalent in society that some recipients were likely to have suffered from it.

Health Secretary Andy Burnham said: "It is wholly wrong to suggest that the Labour Party has, or would ever, target cancer sufferers with its leaflets and I totally reject that claim. The real issue here is the choice that the country faces on the NHS"

Irish Independent

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