I didn’t call Corbyn a lunatic... I was talking about me
Smith is sorry for ‘colourful’ words
LABOUR leadership hopeful Owen Smith has insisted he was talking about himself after apparently calling Jeremy Corbyn “a lunatic”.
Mr Smith had told supporters at a rally: “What you won’t get from me is some 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.”
The Corbyn campaign team hit back and said: “Owen Smith has degraded this contest by descending into personal abuse. He should apologise to people suffering with mental illness.”
And Mr Corbyn added: “I deplore the use of that language in any context.”
But Mr Smith yesterday insisted the remarks the night before were taken out of context. He told the BBC: “Having been accused earlier in the evening of running around like a lunatic, I was saying I wasn’t a lunatic.
"If anyone is offended by the use of that word then I do apologise but I wasn’t talking about Jeremy.”
It is the latest gaffe by the Welshman, after last month’s vow to “smash” new PM Theresa May “back on her heels”.
But he denied it suggested he was not ready to be leader. He added: “It suggests I’m occasionally a bit colourful with my language. I need to be slightly less colourful, perhaps, in future.”
Mr Corbyn, who yesterday set out plans to end private contracts in the NHS, is still favourite to remain leader.
But the Saving Labour campaign, which opposes him, claimed Mr Smith was on course to win by 4,000 votes.
LABOUR’S leadership race is a miserable gaffe-fest when Owen Smith appears to be competing with Jeremy Corbyn to see who can make the most mistakes.
The challenger’s “lunatic” blunder after vowing to “smash” Theresa May back on her kitten-heels was self-harming rugby club talk.
Intense scrutiny comes when you pitch for a top job, as Smith has rapidly discovered.
He has published an impressive policy platform, possesses huge energy, shows a sharp wit and is firmly on the party’s Left. But he, like Corbyn, needs to stop scoring own goals.
RIVALS Smith and Corbyn