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Last Updated: Saturday, 5 August 2006, 12:23 GMT 13:23 UK
Iraq father targets Labour seats
Reg Keys on the hustings
Mr Keys said Spectre already had 20 'closely bereaved' people signed up
A father of a soldier from north Wales who was killed in Iraq is to launch a political party to contest seats held by Labour ministers who backed the war.

Reg Keys, 53, from Llanuwchllyn near Bala, said the party, to be called Spectre, would field candidates who had lost a loved one in the Iraq war.

His son Tom, 20, and five other military policemen were killed in 2003.

Mr Keys said: "We're angry. We're frustrated that these deaths were totally preventable."

Lance Corporal Thomas Keys, 20, was one of six Red Caps killed in Iraq on 24 June 2003 by a mob of more than 400.

An MoD inquiry into the deaths found they could not have been prevented.

Whoever voted for this war, who ever supported it, will find a Spectre candidate standing against them
Reg Keys

In March this year, a coroner recorded a narrative verdict of unlawful killing.

Mr Keys called for the mens' commanding Army officers to be "brought to account" and said he was still seeking "justice" over the deaths.

In April, the former paramedic training officer stood against Tony Blair at Sedgefield in the general election, claiming 10.3% of the vote, against Mr Blair's 58.9%.

He said 20 people who had been bereaved by the Iraq war had signed up for Spectre, the planned "party of independents," which aimed to field 70 candidates at the next general election.

'Lion's den'

Mr Keys said he accepted that it was possible Mr Blair may stand down as Labour leader before the next general election but said "it will still be his ministers that will be in situ".

He said: "Whoever voted for this war, who ever supported it, will find a Spectre candidate standing against them at the general election or any forthcoming byelections.

Lance Corporal Thomas Richard Keys
L/Cpl Thomas Keys was shot 18 times, his inquest heard

"The majority of people in this country are now believing that the war in Iraq was wrong, and I do believe we will get support.

"When I turned up in Sedgefield, I turned up with one reporter and an armful of handouts that I had copied in the local library.

"And that was in the lion's den, where the prime minister, Tony Blair, was regarded as a god. And in three weeks I got nearly 5,000 votes."

Spectre's founders will meet within the next two weeks to discuss strategy.

They include Rose Gentle, who stood against Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram.

"We're angry, we're frustrated"

Sedgefield's take on Reg Keys
26 Apr 05 |  Wales
'Justice' call for Red Cap deaths
31 Mar 06 |  North West Wales

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