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Jeremy Corbyn Condemns Mental Health Joke At "Corbyn 4 PM" Event

The Labour leader has contacted the organisers of the "JC4PM" gigs criticising a joke about a Labour MP's struggle with depression.

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Jeremy Corbyn has contacted the organisers of the "Corbyn 4 PM" concert tour to condemn a joke about a Labour MP's mental health told at a show in Edinburgh last week.

Last Wednesday, BuzzFeed News reported that comedian Jeremy Hardy had joked that it was easy to guess Kevan Jones MP – who has previously spoken out about his mental health – was depressed because he supported the renewal of the UK's nuclear weapons programme.

At the show in the Scottish capital, Hardy said: "I would have thought you could hazard a guess that if someone supports nuclear weapons, if your view of existence is so bleak you're prepared to help with the extermination of the entire northern hemisphere, that kind of suggests depression, don't you?"

The comments were condemned by Jones, fellow Labour MP John Woodcock, and Labour's shadow minister for mental health, Luciana Berger, last week. Now, in a letter to Jones revealed by Politics Home, the Labour leader has added his criticism.

"These comments I believe were categorically disrespectful to anyone who has, or is suffering from mental health issues and there is no excuse for them," wrote Corbyn.

"I have drawn this to the attention of the organisers so that they can take my point on board. The organisers and participants are responsible for their own actions.

"Your admission to having suffered from mental health issues was, as you know, much admired by myself and others. Such revelations by high profile figures are invaluable in reducing the stigma surrounding depression and other mental health issues and I will continue to be supportive of them."

The Labour leader added: "I can only hope that the audience at the event was not impressed by that contribution from the stage either, and that there is no such repetition of it."

Corbyn appeared at the London leg of the "JC4PM" tour two weeks ago, but distanced himself from the events after Hardy's remarks.

Jamie Ross is a Scotland reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Edinburgh.

Contact Jamie Ross at jamie.ross@buzzfeed.com.

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