Labour leadership candidate Owen Smith has branded Jeremy Corbyn a ‘lunatic’, and said that “at the end of this contest, I will have won it” whilst speaking at an event in Hammersmith.
The MP for Pontypridd told the handful of supporters at the event:
“And what you won’t get from me, is some, you know, lunatic at the top of the Labour Party, you’ll have someone who tries to form a coherent narrative about what’s wrong with Britain.”
This latest slur from Smith has caused outrage on social media, with many describing the comment as insulting to those with mental health conditions.
I suffer with mental health, have depression & nearly attempted suicide 5 years ago. Am I lunatic #Owen2016? It's the #EndOfTheLine for you
— Socialist Voice (@SocialistVoice) August 23, 2016
On a day where the UK’s media have led their news coverage with, essentially, a trivial story about the Labour leader sitting on a train, some were quick to condemn the lack of mainstream coverage of Smith’s slur:
Owen Smith calling Jeremy Corbyn 'a lunatic'. This is 'abuse'.
None of this is reported by our useless media. https://t.co/Mt3gH5ZWLV
— Aaron Bastani (@AaronBastani) August 23, 2016
It wasn’t too long ago that the Labour leadership hopeful was calling for Corbyn to take up the fictional position of ‘President’ of the party, as well as promising him a place in the Shadow Cabinet. One Twitter user was quick to point out the irony:
During many of the Labour Leadership Hustings, Smith has consistently agreed with Jeremy Corbyn on a multitude of issues and policies, and it remains to be seen exactly why Smith has called into question the mental health of the Labour leader.
Voting is currently underway in the latest Labour Leadership elections, and with Smith having already come in for significant criticism over misogynistic and h*mophobic comments, some believe that his latest gaffe signals the end of the the line for Smith’s slim hopes of becoming leader:
It's important to use the words "if true" here. Its alleged that @OwenSmith_MP has described Mr Corbyn as a "lunatic" #EndOfTheLine if true.
— Rachael Swindon (@Rachael_Swindon) August 23, 2016
And even some of Mr Smith’s own supporters have turned on him after this latest slur:
Undeterred, however, Owen Smith told the crowd he firmly believes he’s still in with a ’50/50′ chance of winning, stating:
I’m telling you now, on the phones, this is 50 50 across the country. I was in Wolverhampton last night and we were winning hands down.
There are 20 per cent of people who are undecided. I am telling you now at the end of this contest, I will have won it.