LABOUR leadership hopeful Rebecca Long-Bailey has been forced to apologise after describing a constituent with brain damage as a practical vegetable.
The Jeremy Corbyn ally made the gaffe while describing a man put in a care home after a serious accident.
PoliticsHome reported Ms Long-Bailey was speaking at a hustings in Bristol when the comments were made.
She said: “I promised him that we’d get some consultants in, we’d speak to the clinical commissioning group and we’d get another review done.
And if he had a different care plan, and he was moved into a different setting, within two years he’d be back home and potentially able to get a job and be back in employment.
“And from where he was as a practical vegetable to having that hope for the future, that made me realise how important my job was to fight for people who didn’t have a voice.”
The far-left MP‘s comments were blasted by the UK Acquired Brain Injury Forum.
Executive director Chloe Hayward said: “We are very pleased that Rebecca Long-Bailey has been so supportive of this family, and that she is aware of the need for appropriate neurorehabilitation services and the lengths families need to go to to fight for appropriate care and support.
“It is very unfortunate that Rebecca used the phrase ‘practical vegetable’.
“It is probable that the term ‘vegetative state’ was the one she was looking for which refers to a person who has a disorder of consciousness.
A spokesperson for Ms Long-Bailey labelled her comment a “mistake”.
They said: “Rebecca wanted to emphasise that the person she helped had suffered a severe brain injury.
“She meant to say that they were practically in a vegetative state, and apologises for her mistake without reservation.”