Clarkson calls Miliband 'wrong in the head' for mental health dig
Labour leader singled out Clarkson for saying suicide victims should be left on train tracks
TOP GEAR presenter Jeremy Clarkson has hit back at accusations from Ed Miliband that he has belittled people with mental illness - calling the Labour leader "wrong in the head".
Miliband singled out the Top Gear presenter in a speech to the Royal College of Psychiatrists yesterday morning, saying attitudes like Clarkson's "reinforce the stigma that blights millions of people's lives, and holds our country back".
He refers to a column Clarkson wrote in The Sun last December, in which he called suicide victims “selfish”, saying: "Jeremy Clarkson, who may have at least acknowledged the tragedy of people who end their own lives, goes on to call them 'Johnny Suicides' whose bodies should be left on train tracks rather than delay journeys."
But last night Clarkson retaliated, tweeting: "So. Ed Miliband has said that I am making life miserable for people who commit suicide. Really?... I have read what Miliband said. And seriously, I'm not sure he's right in the head."
Last year, Clarkson wrote in his column that he had the "deepest sympathy" for those who commit suicide but said it was a "selfish way to go because the disruption it causes is immense."
He suggested: "Change the driver, pick up the big bits of what's left of the victim, get the train moving as quickly as possible and let foxy woxy and the birds nibble away at the smaller, gooey parts that are far away or hard to find."
Miliband has, however, received praise for his speech, in which he urged Britons to fight against intolerance to people with mental illness.
"It's a brave politician in these times of hardening attitudes that takes on 'the politically incorrect community'," wrote Mark Brown in The Guardian, welcoming the speech.
Toby Helm, political editor for The Observer, tweeted: "Everybody realises what Ed Miliband is saying about mental health except J Clarkson and he pretends he doesn't for PR reasons. Awful."
As Labour today achieved its highest position in the polls since 2010, one tweeter described Milband's speech as "inspiring", while another said she was "proud that people in high places are going to make mental health a priority".