Suicide threat by father of dead soldier

Click to follow
Indy Politics

A father threatened to hang himself on Brighton seafront yesterday in protest over his son's death in Iraq.

A father threatened to hang himself on Brighton seafront yesterday in protest over his son's death in Iraq.

As Tony Blair delivered his conference speech, Reginald Keys climbed a 30ft pylon holding a banner reading: "Lives hang in the balance. Blair lied while 65 died. Troops out."

Mr Keys, who had a noose around his neck, shouted to on-lookers that he would kill himself unless he received an apology from the Prime Minister over the death of his 20-year-old son, L/Cpl Thomas Richard Keys.

Police negotiators, with climbing teams on standby, managed to coax the man down after an hour. Before being put into an ambulance, he said: "Blair sent my son to war for weapons of mass destruction.

"I waved him goodbye and Tom went with his head held high. That has proved to be a lie. My son died because of Blair.

"I was up there with a noose around my neck and a mobile phone in my pocket and Blair still wouldn't ring me. He won't say he's sorry, he just says he regrets what has happened."

L/Cpl Keys, from Llanuwchllyn in north Wales, was among seven Royal Military Police killed when a mob stormed a police station in Majar al-Kabir, about 100 miles north of Basra, in June last year.

The British death toll in Iraq totalled 68 yesterday after a military convoy was ambushed south-west of Basra, killing two British soldiers. The incident happened just hours after Mr Blair's keynote speech.

Comments