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Ken Livingstone apologises to Kevan Jones on Twitter

Mental health campaign criticises Livingstone comments

The director of a mental health campaign has criticised Ken Livingstone for suggesting Kevan Jones MP should get psychiatric help.

Time To Change is run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness:

It’s as unacceptable to trade insults on the basis of someone’s mental health experiences as it would be on the basis of their race, gender or sexuality.

Kevan has been widely praised for opening up about his experiences and helping to make big strides against stigma, particularly in parliamentary circles.

We know that many people still feel uncomfortable talking about their mental health problems, and we would encourage everyone to consider the impact of using mental health related language that could fuel misunderstanding and stigma."

– Sue Baker, Director of Time to Change


Livingstone tells ITV 'if Jeremy wants me to apologise, I will'

Kevan Jones tells newspaper 'comments are gravely offensive'

MPs raised concerns about the decision to put Ken Livingstone at the top of a policy commission on defence issues alongside shadow defence secretary Maria Eagle.

Mr Livingstone hit back at criticism from Durham North MP Kevan Jones, who revealed his struggle with depression three years ago, telling the Mirror newspaper he should 'pop off' to see his GP.

"I think he might need some psychiatric help. He's obviously very depressed and disturbed," the newspaper reports him saying.

Mr Jones said the comments reinforced the stigma about mental illness. He told the newspaper: "I find these comments gravely offensive, not just personally but also to the many thousands who suffer from mental illness.'

Jeremy Corbyn has called for an apology to be issued.

Corbyn calls for apology from Livingstone after mental health comments

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has told Ken Livingstone to apologise after he suggested shadow defence minister Kevan Jones should seek 'psychiatric' help.

The former London mayor branded the MP, who has suffered from depression, 'disturbed' as a bitter row over Labour's defence policy erupted.

"Jeremy is incredibly concerned that people with mental health problems shouldn't be stigmatised. He has worked with Kevan in the past on this issue and is impressed by his bravery in speaking out on his own mental health issues. Ken should apologise to him straight away."

– A spokesman for Mr Corbyn
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