Rishi Sunak was duped by someone claiming to be a 'Falklands war hero', in the latest embarrassing moment for the PM.
Chris Webber attended a veterans’ summit at 10 Downing Street last month and bragged about his 'nine years' in the army. But it turns out he was a fake who bought his green beret from the internet and has actually worked in the past as a holiday rep and a pub singer in Spain under the stage name Cushty.
A security probe is now under way after he was unmasked by a veterans’ group which exposes fake war heroes, called the Walter Mitty Hunters Club, a Mirror exclusive reports.
Members spotted that two of his medals were non-military and his cap badge was from the reign of George VI. The group used a decoy to contact him on the internet.
Losing friends who were like brothers to me has been very difficult.” Minister of State for Veterans' Affairs MP Johnny Mercer, who was pictured at the meeting with Webber, said today: "I have no idea why people lie about their military service. When they do so in order to use programmes I’ve worked hard to design for veterans who have served our country and fallen into hard times, it makes me very sad. Clearly I need to construct a stronger deterrence. I will."
Ex-Marine Sergeant Major and Falklands veteran Jeff Williams told The Mirror: “I lost a lot of brothers in that war. The fact that this individual lied about his service makes my skin crawl. There should be a law against this.”
A spokesman for the Walter Mitty Hunters Club said: “The club solely exists to act as a deterrent to those who wish to masquerade as a veteran, a serving member of the armed forces and those who exaggerate their service.
“Such people undermine genuine time-served veterans and those still serving in the eyes of the public.” When approached by the Sunday Mirror, Webber declined to comment.
indy100 has contacted Downing Street to comment on this story. A spokesperson said:
"The Government is committed to ending veteran rough sleeping and helping those at risk of homelessness.
“We recently announced a £8.5 million funding package for charities to deliver health and education services in more than 900 housing units.
“Due diligence checks are carried out for these events.”
Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.