Outspoken Tory MP Rob Anders is in damage control mode – again – after he suggested the late Jack Layton was pushed to run his last federal campaign in poor health due to Thomas Mulcair’s fierce political aspirations.
“I actually think one of the great stories that was missed by journalists was that Mr. Mulcair, with his arm twisted behind the scenes, helped to hasten Jack Layton’s death,” Anders told iPolitics, an online publication.
Layton died in August 2011 after he announced he was fighting a second battle with cancer. Just a few months prior to his death, Layton led the NDP to its best result in Canadian political history.
Mulcair subsequently became the leader of the party following a convention in March.
After the story was published Monday, the prime minister’s spokesman issued a statement that Anders’ comments “in no way represent the views” of the government. The Calgary West MP issued his own apology in a statement shortly after.
“My comments in iPolitics with respect to Mr. Mulcair and Mr. Layton were insensitive and inconsiderate,” Anders said in a statement. “I apologize to Mr. Mulcair and to Mr. Layton’s family.”
Anders was forced to apologize earlier this year for lashing out at Canadian veterans of the Afghan war when they criticized him for nodding off at a House of Commons committee.