No apology over German gaffe ...

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THE councillor responsible for children’s services has refused to apologise for a “disgraceful” comment about bombing the Germans.

Cabinet member Andy Dransfield has also shrugged off calls for him to resign, insisting the gaffe was a “harmless joke”.

“In my garden, of course, I have a great big runway with a fleet of Lancasters ready to go and bomb Germany,” he quipped to the Citizen afterwards.

His bombshell came during an Extraordinary Meeting of the council called to discuss the German-owned company RWE npower, which hopes to build wind turbine farms in Milton Keynes.

The company recently threatened legal action over the council’s policy to keep the turbines as far as possible away from homes.

Mr Dransfield told the meeting: “I’d hope that we would argue against the German company... We should send the bombs back, tell them where to put them and say let the people of Milton Keynes determine on their own.”

Lib Dem councillor Chris Williams said the comment was made in a loud, strident voice and did not appear to be a joke.

“I have listened to it again from the tapes of the meeting and there was no hint of flippancy. It was a disgraceful thing to say.”

Mr Williams called for Mr Dransfield’s resignation at the full council meeting yesterday (Wednesday) evening.

“He is the Cabinet member with responsibility for children and young people. Do we really want them influenced by someone who is suggesting we should bomb the Germans?” he said.

The bomb remark is by no means the first gaffe made by the outspoken Tory. He is also vice-chairman of the Bucks and MK Fire authority and last Christmas he snubbed hundreds of firefighters by saying they SLEPT too much.

Arguing against firefighters receiving a bonus, he said: “Over 200 days a year they’re off duty, and they sleep for a good proportion of the night shift.”

This week Mr Dransfield was unrepentant about the latest criticism.

He told the Citizen: “I apologise if anybody was upset by the German comment but I don’t apologise for saying it.”

“Sometime there is a sense of humour failure in the council.”

> City dignitary in abuse claim, see page 9.