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Video: ASDA apologise over 'mental patient' costume

The supermarket chain ASDA, based in Leeds, has been at the centre of a storm of condemnation today for selling a fancy dress costume called 'mental patient'.

Charities say it's "staggeringly offensive" and ASDA now admits it was an "unacceptable error". It's taken the costume off sale and donated 25 thousand pounds to a mental health charity.

Tesco's now been drawn into the controversy because of an outfit called pyscho ward and other stores are checking their shelves as Jon Hill reports.

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"Asda crossed the line" says mental health charity

Controversial Asda fancy dress costume
Controversial Asda fancy dress costume Credit: Asda

Supermarket giant Asda has been forced to apologise after it advertised a fancy dress outfit featuring someone covered in blood and brandishing a machete as a "mental patient fancy dress costume".

The Halloween costume , which has now been withdrawn, was on sale for £20.

Sue Baker campaigner for mental health charity Mind, told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "Nine out of 10 people using mental health services in patient care report stigma and discrimination from a range of sources.

"Stigma and discrimination is unfortunately still really damaging in England today and this kind of myth of the dangerousness posed by people, that you should be scared of anyone who has used mental health services, is really damaging.

"(Asda) certainly crossed the line here and I hear it might well have been changed with the addition of mental patient, so it was definitely being used to tap into negative stereotypes."

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Mind: Asda's costume 'staggeringly offensive'

Asda have shown themselves to be extremely misguided with their ‘mental health patient’ fancy dress costume.

It is staggeringly offensive to the one in four of us affected by mental health problems and our families and friends, and troubling that some businesses are still so out of touch with the public mood.

However it is encouraging to see the groundswell of outcry on Twitter and that our voices are being heard.

We hope this will urge Asda as well as other retailers and manufacturers to review their processes and consider taste and decency on mental health grounds, to avoid fuelling stigma and discrimination that are so damaging for large numbers of the population.

– Sue Baker, Director of Time to Change, run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness

Read: Asda 'deeply sorry' for selling 'mental patient' fancy dress costume

Read: Tesco removes 'Psycho Ward' fancy dress costume

Collymore and Campbell criticise Asda fancy dress

Controversial Asda fancy dress costume
Controversial Asda fancy dress costume Credit: Asda

Former footballer Stan Collymore and political spin doctor Alistair Campbell have expressed disgust at supermarket giant Asda advertising a fancy dress outfit featuring someone covered in blood and brandishing a machete as a "mental patient fancy dress costume".

The Halloween costume, which has now been withdrawn, was on sale for £20 through the supermarket's clothing arm George.

Collymore, who has a well-documented battle with depression, tweeted: "Dear ASDA, nice stereotype of " Mental patients". Something you'd expect from the ###. A f***ing joke."

"Do you actually realise how many people are hanging themselves because of being frightened of the stigma? Wording is CLEAR. MENTAL PATIENT."

Former Labour spin doctor Alistair Campbell, who has also suffered from depression, tweeted: "Look what Asda's selling... what possesses these people?"

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Tesco removes 'Psycho Ward' fancy dress costume

A Tesco spokesperson told ITV News they have removed a fancy dress costume called "Psycho Ward" from their website and apologised "for any offence caused".

The website sells a costume called 'Psycho Ward'. Credit: Tesco

A spokesperson said: "We're really sorry for any offence this has caused and we are removing this product from sale.”

Read: Asda 'deeply sorry' for selling 'mental patient' fancy dress costume

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Asda apologise over " mental" fancy dress costume

Asda's controversial fancy dress costume
Asda's controversial fancy dress costume Credit: Asda

Leeds-based supermarket giant Asda has been forced to apologise after it advertised a fancy dress outfit featuring someone covered in blood and brandishing a machete as a "mental patient fancy dress costume".

The Halloween costume, which is designed to look like a blood-splattered straitjacket with ragged edges, was on sale for £20 through the supermarket's clothing arm George.

Asda apologised for the incident in a series of tweets and said it would be making a donation to mental health charity Mind.

The company said: "We're deeply sorry one of our fancy dress costumes has upset people. This was an unacceptable error - the product was withdrawn immediately.

"We removed the product from our website this afternoon but unfortunately the page may remain visible for a few more hours."

Asda workers to benefit from saving scheme

ASDA workers to benefit from share save scheme Credit: PA

Workers at Leeds based supermarket Asda are to pocket a record £61.7 million thanks to a share save scheme. The retailer said 19,040 staff members will benefit as its parent company Walmart's Share save scheme matures. Some will get a windfall of more than £15,500.

Asda corned beef drug scare

The Leeds-based supermarket chain ASDA is at the centre of the latest food scare. For the first time since the horsemeat scandal began traces of a painkiller used on horses has been found - and it's in their tins of corned beef.

ASDA admits it's totally unacceptable and two products have now been recalled. There's said to be little risk to the public but one expert says it shows the food industry doesn't know what's going on in the food supply chain. Chris Kiddey reports.

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