The Tory candidate standing in Jo Cox’s former seat has been condemned for joking that “we have not yet shot anybody” during the election campaign.
Dr Ann Myatt made the off-the-cuff remark during a hustings for the Batley and Spen constituency in Yorkshire.
The Labour MP was murdered on the streets of the constituency on June 16 last year by far right extremist Thomas Mair. She was shot several times and then stabbed.
At the hustings, Myatt praised the event and said:
“We have here people of all faiths, we have here people from different parts of the community, and we have not yet shot anybody so that’s wonderful.”
Her comments were met with gasps by the audience as she attempted to apologise for the comment.
The incident happened last week and was streamed live by a local radio station, but a video of the incident was today published by MailOnline:
Andrew Gwynne MP, Labour’s national election co-ordinator, said:
“These remarks are appalling.
“That they come from the Conservative candidate beggars belief.
“She should immediately apologise and frankly so should Theresa May’s campaign.”
In a by-election last October, Labour held the seat when the other parties declined to field candidates as a mark of respect. Labour candidate Tracy Brabin, who succeeded Cox, was taking part in the debate.
Myatt, a consultant dermatologist in the NHS, said:
“I wholeheartedly apologise for my ill-judged remarks at the hustings and for any offence they caused.
“I said sorry at the time and would like to apologise again for my comments, which were out of character and came at the end of a tiring day.”