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Cameron's 'black man' says facts were wrong

By Channel 4 News

Updated on 17 April 2010

The "40-year-old black man" referred to by David Cameron during the first leaders' debate has criticised the Tory leader for getting the details about him "wrong".

Did David Cameron get his facts wrong? (Credit: Reuters)

Plymouth businessman Neal Forde, who is actually aged 51, has complained after David Cameron used him as a "case study" during the section of the debate which looked at immigration policy.

The Tory leader said: "I was in Plymouth recently and a 40-year-old black man said 'I came here when I was six, I've served in the Royal Navy for 30 years.

"I'm incredibly proud of my country. But I'm so ashamed that we've had this out-of-control system with people abusing it so badly'."

Mr Forde told local newspaper The Herald he had been "teased by workmates" since the claim.

He said: "And he [Cameron] said I spent 30 years in the Navy. I was actually in for six years, as a marine engineer serving on HMS Intrepid and HMS Berwick."

He said that he did not think any of the main parties have the right answers on immigration.

He told the paper: "Britain needs immigrants. It's a rich and diverse country with a heritage to be proud of."

But he added: "What I find unacceptable is that the politicians – Labour, Tory, I can't say Lib Dem because they haven't been in power – seem to care more about everybody else and forget the British people."

Another "real life example" used by Mr Cameron in Thursday's debate has been undermined.

Dyring the 90 minute live programme, the Tory leader said a £73,000 Lexus purchased by Hull police was a "striking example" of public sector waste.

It turns out the vehicle was not a new purchase and that it cost around £20,000 less than Cameron had claimed.

A Tory spokesman said: "He [Cameron] did not seek to single out Humberside Police for criticism, but to make a broader point about the need for value for money in all police procurement."

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