Kevan Jones hits back at Jeremy Hardy over mental health jibe

Posted On: 
10th March 2016
A former Labour minister who has fought mental illness today hit back at a Jeremy Corbyn-supporting comedian after he appeared to mock his battle with depression.

Jeremy Hardy linked Kevan Jones' support for Trident renewal with his medical history during a routine at a 'Jeremy Corbyn for Prime Minister' rally in Edinburgh.

He said: "I would have thought you could hazard a guess that if someone supports nuclear weapons, if your view of existence is so bleak you’re prepared to help with the extermination of the entire northern hemisphere, that kind of suggests depression, don’t you?”



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Speaking exclusively to PoliticsHome, North Durham MP Mr Jones said: "Both subjects, mental health and the defence of our country, are serious subjects. To make light of them and suggest anyone who takes a contrary view to Jeremy Corbyn is mad is completely wrong.

"It's just another example of people using mental illness as a political weapon and I thought we had moved on from that."

Former London mayor Ken Livingstone was also condemned last November when he said Mr Jones should seek "psychiatric help" after he criticised his appointment as head of the party's defence review.

Luciana Berger, Labour's shadow minister for mental health, said Jeremy Hardy's remarks must not be "tolerated".

She said: "There is no excuse for using someone’s mental health as a stick with which to beat them.

"Mental health has come out of the shadows in recent years, but too many people with mental health problems still face stigma, abuse and discrimination.

"We must not tolerate comments like those used by Jeremy Hardy which only serve to reinforce the gap in understanding and undermine the good work being done to tackle the taboo that still surrounds mental health."

Mr Hardy appeared to suggest that his critics did not have a sense of humour in a post on his Twitter page.

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