Harrow East MP Tony McNulty has slammed his Conservative opponent for using a term offensive to the mentally ill – for the second time in under a week.
Tory candidate Bob Blackman had told the Harrow Times that as a councillor he had ‘rescued Brent from the Looney left’.
But McNulty called his choice of words insensitive and said he should apologise. Last week Blackman was caught up in a row after he said Brent Council had been a ‘basket case’ before the Conservatives took over. He was speaking at an event organised by a mental health charity at the time.
McNulty told Stanmore Politics that the remark was ‘right up there in the insensitivity stakes with ‘basket case’!’. He said:
“All party leaders have pledged not to use mental illness as an insult or slur. Mr. Blackman has ignored this not once but twice and just carries on insulting people.
“Once is a forgivable slip of the tongue, twice shows he has no understanding of how offensive his language is to people with experience of mental health.
“If he doesn’t apologise, he is simply unfit for office.”
Last weekend Blackman said he did not regret his comments, saying he understood mental health issues.
“I don’t take nonsense from Tony McNulty and others.”
Whether he will he rise to the bait this time remains to be seen.
A poll today predicted Blackman will beat McNulty on May 6, returning Harrow East to the Conservative Party after 13 years.