A GOVERNMENT minister has inflamed Whitehalls row with the Army with a four-letter tirade against its leader. The outburst followed General Sir Richard Dannatts demands for more troops and helicopters to help in Afghanistan. Last night a Labour minister declared Sir Richard was a total **** while government advisers claimed the Chief of the General Staff was aligning him- self with the Conservatives. Sir Richard revealed earlier this week that he had been forced to use an American Black H aw k h e l i c o p t e r i n Afghanistan and called for more energy in making sure the Army was equipped. We can have effect where we have boots on the ground, he said. I dont mind whether the feet in those boots are British, American or Afghan, but we need more. But Labour rejected his claims and accused him of trying to secure a peerage or ministerial post in a Tory government. The party saw the generals broadside as a challenge to Gordon Browns refusal to send 2,000 troops and more helicopters. A Downing Street source said: He is positioning himself to become a Tory minister. Thats what he wants. Hes behaving disgracefully. The Conservatives denounced the claims as nonsense and one of Britains leading armed forces campaign associations criti- cised the unnamed minister. Cdr John Muxworthy, of the National Defence Association, said: General Dannatt is a very experienced and committed officer who is standing by his service. Personal abuse low- ers the tone of any debate. T o d a y M r Brown faced a defence select committee report con- demning helicopter shortages. London Lite Thursday, 16 July 2009 21 Minister in four-letter Army insult AttackoncriticalDannatt THE widow of a London black cab driver who decapitated himself said today she was dumb- founded by his suicide. Gary Pucknell, 28, died after tying a rope around his neck and the other end to a lamppost and driving off. His body was found in his cab on Friday in Southwark. Maxine Pucknell, 38, said today she could not understand why he had killed himself. Every- one is dumbfounded. All his friends say that days before he was the same old Gary, full of life. She said nothing had seemed out of the ordinary on the day of his death. Scotland Yard said the death is non-suspicious. by mark blunden Suicidecabbiehadseemedfine Damning: General Sir Richard Dannatt criticised ministers H index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html40.html41.html42.html43.html