Richard Littlejohn's claim he would rather trust Jimmy Savile to babysit than trust Labour to run the country has been attacked as on a par with Katie Hopkins.
Littlejohn wrote the comment in his latest Daily Mail column, in which he mocked the party's commitment to install an 8ft high stone in Downing Street listing their election promises if they win on Thursday.
The controversy-courting columnist, whose right-wing sympathies make him perhaps the least likely voter in the country to support Labour, wrote: "Trust Labour with the economy and the NHS? I'd rather have trusted Jimmy Savile to babysit.
"And that's before we even get to the SNP terror. Following Labour's suicidal implosion in Scotland, we are on the brink of an undemocratic constitutional outrage.
"By Friday night, we could find ourselves being governed by a socialist Prime Minister who lost the General Election, propped up by a gang of Stalinist separatists who have secured only four per cent of the total UK vote."
Both "Richard Littlejohn" and "Trust Labour" began trending as people reacted to the column, with people comparing him to shock seeking columnist Katie Hopkins, and calling it "vile" and "sick".
Here we have Richard Littlejohn 'joking' about child sexual abuse and paedophilia for political point scoring. pic.twitter.com/WdNl7qxshx— Jack Monroe (@MsJackMonroe) May 5, 2015
Obviously Richard Littlejohn is vying for today's
office price of a bucket of bile for best bottom feeder at the Daily Mail #trustlabour— Harry Leslie Smith (@Harryslaststand) May 5, 2015
Richard Littlejohn would rather his children were molested by Jimmy Savile than trust Labour. Now that's a committed Tory.— Steve Brookstein (@stevebrookstein) May 5, 2015
How dare the Daily Mail play politics with child abuse. It's a new low even for that paper. Survivors deserve better. http://t.co/n2EPjMnuRv— Noel McGivern (@Good_Beard) May 5, 2015
Left-wing blog The Labour List wrote of the column: "You couldn’t make it up, but we rather wish we had" and called it Littlejohn's "sickest propagand yet".
It added: "Just as some on the right were justly shocked over the vitriol over the death of an old woman (no matter what political damage she did to the country) Labour have a right to expect not to be unjustly compared to Jimmy Savile."
Conservative candidate Craig Whittaker, who chaired the All Party parliamentary Committee for Looked After Children and Care Leavers in the last parliament, angered many when he tweeted the story using Jimmy Savile line - the Mail's automatically-provided tweet for those who want to share it on social media.
Tweets demanded he apologise for it, noting many of Savile's victims were children in institutions.
@Whittaker4mp given your previous responsibilities at calderdale and commons interests that is utterly despicable. You should apologise— Steve M (@SteveM70) May 5, 2015
@Whittaker4mp Not cool. I know it was a quote, but this was insensitive and awful and you need to apologise for it as soon as.— Sean Bamforth (@seanbamforth) May 5, 2015
People began using the Trust Labour trend to either defend or attack the party's record, depending on their allegiance.
#TrustLabour - to promise loads for working people and deliver tons for the owners of wealth.— Side-Show Bob (@CeasarorRome) May 5, 2015
After the column triggered widespread anger, spoof site News Thump claimed Littlejohn had endorsed "the little-known Paedophile Babysitters Party".
As this article went live, Labour had not reacted to the column but Ed Balls' twitter spoof said:
We'll put Richard Littlejohn down as a maybe. http://t.co/wMiTcHzLlm— Ed Balls (@eddbaIlsmp) May 5, 2015