Calls for Labour party figure in Leeds to step down after "offensive" tweet about suicide

A Labour party figure has issued an apology after making an "offensive tweet" about suicide.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 14th December 2017, 6:03 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th December 2017, 6:25 pm
Luke Farley
Luke Farley

Luke Farley, chair of the Leeds Labour Campaign Forum posted the comments from his personal account in 2013 when it appeared a train he was on became delayed due to suicide.

He wrote: "What sort of arsehole commits suicide by throwing themselves in front of a train? Especially when it’s the line I’m travelling on!”

It has prompted criticism from the opposition and calls for him to be removed from his post within the political organisation by the leader of Leeds City Council, Judith Blake.

Coun Ryan Stephenson, the Conservative member for Harewood, said: "These comments, coming from a senior official in charge of Labour’s election campaign in Leeds, are offensive and insulting to those who are living with the loss of a loved one to suicide.

"The Council Leader now has an opportunity to prove that her administration will not tolerate such ignorant views of mental health issues and she should remove this official from the position of power he has over her election campaign in Leeds”.

Coun Stephenson added that according to suicide prevention charity, The Samaritans, there were 237 suicides and suspected suicides on Britain's railways last year. In the same period, 1,593 interventions were made across Britain’s rail network by staff, British Transport Police, local police and the public, an increase of 40 percent on the previous year.

Mr Farley who is also believed to hold a senior communications position within the NHS said last night via twitter: "I made comments which were utterly disgusting and I feel completely ashamed that I should have shared them.

"I sincerely and unreservedly apologise for the clear offence and upset that I have caused. What I said was inexcusable. These comments do not reflect the person I am today although I fully recognise my apology cannot repair the damage done."