Wrong body cremated at British politician’s funeral

The wrong body was cremated at the funeral of a British politician in January after an incredible mix-up.

The West Midlands European Parliament MP Philip Bradbourn, 63, had died of bowel cancer in December at Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield.

But another man’s body was cremated at the Conservative politician’s funeral on January 16 at Bushbury Crematorium in Wolverhampton.

The “wrong” body cremated was that of Philip Bradburn, a man without close family or relatives, who died at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham before Christmas.

Mr Bradburn’s funeral had been arranged by social services.

After the two men’s deaths, their bodies had been taken to the Central England Co-operative Funeralcare mortuary.

Mr Bradbourn’s family slammed the mix-up after having to hold a second funeral for him the following month.

Last week, politicians gathered to pay their respects to Mr Bradbourn at St Peter’s Collegiate Church in Wolverhampton at a separate memorial service.

An investigation has been launched into how the mix-up happened.

Dr Andrew Catto, executive medical director at the trust which runs Good Hope Hospital, said: “This is an incredibly distressing situation and we are very sorry that this has happened.

“This is a rare incident and we are offering support to those close to the deceased.”

But Dr Catto added: “This occurred in spite of the fact that mortuary procedures conform to nationally defined standards and are subject to periodic audit.”

A spokesperson for Central England Co-operative Funeralcare said: “The society is supporting one of our partners in a full and open investigation, but is not able to comment further while the investigation is ongoing.”

European MP Anthea McIntyre, who went to Mr Bradbourn’s first funeral, said serious questions have been sent “right to the top of government” on this issue.

At the time of Mr Bradbourn’s death, UK Prime Minister David Cameron led tributes to the “dedicated” and “well-respected” politician who served in the European Parliament since 1999.


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