A COUNCILLOR has criticised opponents for turning a debate on helping former soldiers into a “political dogfight”.

Conservative Clr Andrew Palfreeman submitted a motion to this week’s monthly meeting of Kirklees Council calling for more support for veterans.

But Labour and Lib Dem councillors put in an amendment which accused the “Tory-led Coalition Government” of “reneging” on its promises to ex-soldiers.

Clr Palfreeman said yesterday: “I deliberately sought to make this a non-political issue.

“I was shocked and disappointed when the Labour and Liberal Democrat groups submitted a joint amendment that turned the issue into a political dogfight by criticising the current Government.

“What could have been a united sign of support turned into a needless political battle. It was a sad night for the council.”

Meanwhile, Labour and Lib Dem leaders Tweeted their opinions on the issue during the meeting at Huddersfield Town Hall on Wednesday night.

Labour leader Clr Mehboob Khan wrote: “I’ve made a plea for local Tories to rise above party politics to support armed service people to enshrine the military covenant in law.”

Lib Dem leader Clr Kath Pinnock told Twitter users: “Tories abstain on council motion to agree Community Covenant for Armed Forces. Support from Lib Dems, Lab, Inds.”