U.K. Father Gets Letter From PM Brown Two Years After Soldier Son's Death

The father of a soldier killed in Afghanistan received a condolence letter from the British prime minister last month — almost two years after his son died.

Trooper Jack Sadler, 21, of the Honorable Artillery Company, was killed on Dec. 4, 2007, when his vehicle was hit by a blast in Helmand Province.

But his father Ian said he received a handwritten letter from Gordon Brown only on Nov. 17, accompanied by a typed apology for the delay from an aide to the prime minister.

Last month, Brown was criticized for spelling mistakes in a handwritten letter to Jacqui Janes, whose son Jamie was killed in Afghanistan.

Speaking to the BBC Radio 4 programme "The Report," Sadler, from Exmouth, Devon, said: "Jack was killed on December 4, 2007, and I received a letter of condolence from the prime minister with no date on it on November 17, 2009.

"I have a letter apologizing, not from the prime minister, but from Jeremy Heywood, who is his permanent secretary, apologizing that an administrative mistake resulted in my not receiving a letter from the Prime Minister.

"It's not good, is it? Nearly two years later and the PM hasn't apologized, just his aide."

Sadler added: "It goes to show what this present administration thinks of our soldiers."

In his letter, Heywood reportedly said: "This issue has only just been brought to the Prime Minister's and my own attention; and the Prime Minister wanted to write to you at the earliest opportunity to correct the mistake that was made."

He added: "Please accept my and the Prime Minister's apologies for the distress this may have caused and my most sincere condolences for your loss."

A Downing Street spokesman said: "I can confirm that the prime minister has written to Ian Sadler and Jeannette MacDonald [Trooper Sadler's mother]."

Click here to read more on this story from the Times of London.