The Conservative Party’s candidate for this month’s Eastleigh by-election denies saying Labour did more for “immigrants, the gays, the bloody foxes” than children with special needs.
On the first day of her campaign, Maria Hutchings was asked about a previous interview made in 2005 to the Daily Mail in which she was quoted as saying she did not care about refugees and another in which she allegedly claimed that Labour had done more for “the immigrants, the gays, the bloody foxes” than for children with disabilities.
In 2005, Mrs Hutchings ambushed the then Labour prime minister Tony Blair during a live TV debate.
Clutching a photo of her autistic son John Paul, she confronted Mr Blair on Channel 5’s The Wright Stuff about the closure of special schools and the link between autism and the MMR jab.
The former Labour supporter yelled “Tony that’s rubbish” before studio workers intervened.
On Friday, according to the Guardian, the Tory hopeful claimed she had been misquoted. Of the first interview, Mrs Hutchings said: “What I said was I don’t care about talking about asylum seekers because I’m here to talk about my son.” Of the second interview she said: “I’ve never said anything about gays or bloody foxes. I’ve said nothing about gays and foxes and I don’t know where that’s come from.”
Soon after the 2005 general election the mother of four met David Cameron, before he was Conservative Party leader.
The pair shared their experience of bringing up children with special needs, and she helped launch a Tory pamphlet on the subject.
Mrs Hutchings said she would be running a “clean campaign”, adding: “I want to talk about the issues that affect the people of Eastleigh.”
She said she did not want to discuss former Liberal Democrat MP Chris Huhne, whose disgrace has led to the by-election.
“That issue is in the past,” she added.
Mrs Hutchings also revealed that had she already been elected as an MP, she would have joined Tories who voted against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, earlier this week.