A Tory frontbencher has been sacked after saying many ethnic minority soldiers were "idle and useless" and that they used racism as an excuse for their shortcomings.
Two black soldiers who served with him have been quick to support him-
Owen Lewis, a former non-commissioned officer who was hand-picked by Mr Mercer for key promotions, said: "David Cameron doesn't realise what a good man he's lost. I worked with Patrick Mercer to eradicate racism from the battalion. He is the finest Colonel I ever served under."
And Leroy Hutchinson, who was a corporal under Mr Mercer, said: "I served with him for 12 years. He never tolerated racism."
Asides from his idle comment Mercer said this-
He gave a blunt assessment of his experience of racist taunts in the Army after being contacted by the website of the Labour-supporting Times. He said it was commonplace for troops to be given a hard time over their ethnicity, the colour of their hair, or because they were overweight.
He added: "But that's the way it is in the Army. If someone is slow on the assault course, you'd get people shouting 'Come on you fat bastard, come on you ginger bastard, come on you black bastard'.
"In my experience, when you put on the uniform then all differences disappear. If you are a good soldier, you will do well. There is a degree of colour-blindness among the vast majority of soldiers."