Coastguard closures: Cameron blames drafting error for mistake

A union wants David Cameron to apologised over a letter that raised hopes Coastguard stations in Norfolk and Essex would be saved from cuts.

The prime minister blamed "a drafting error" in a letter which suggested Great Yarmouth and Walton-on-the-Naze would stay open until 2015.

Campaigners thought the government was changing its mind over closures.

Mr Cameron's office said a letter had been sent making it clear closures would begin later this year.

Great Yarmouth is expected to be among the first Coastguard centres to close.

In the original letter to a constituent, the prime minister implied that Coastguard centres would remain open until the new structure came into operation in 2015.

Calls to union

However, the government had announced a schedule of closures starting later this year and this was still being followed.

Val Jenkinson, from the PCS union representing coastguards, said it was disgusting the leader of the country should make such a mistake.

"He needs to get a grip of the real world in the shape of a person who is going to lose their job imminently and has a family and children to support.

"The PCS knew it was a mistake and we got all the telephone calls. We had to tell people that the PM had got it wrong.

"These people should really think before putting things down in writing."

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