A Tory candidate contesting murdered MP Jo Cox’s former seat has apologised for saying “we’ve not shot anybody yet” at a hustings.
Ann Myatt’s “ill-judged” comments left Labour candidate and friend of Mrs Cox, Tracy Brabin, visibly shocked and audience members gasping.
Mother-of-two Mrs Cox, 41, was shot and stabbed in her Batley and Spen constituency just days before last year’s EU referendum.
Neo-Nazi Thomas Mair is serving a life sentence for her murder.
In a statement Ms Myatt said: “I wholeheartedly apologise for my ill-judged remarks at the hustings and for any offence they caused.
“I said sorry at the time and would like to apologise again for my comments, which were out of character and came at the end of a tiring day.”
Former Coronation Street star Ms Brabin is seeking re-election after replacing Mrs Cox following a by-election last year.
Her maiden speech in the House of Commons was applauded by MPs after she paid tribute to her friend and “inspiration” Mrs Cox.
She struck a defiant tone throughout, telling the Commons: “Batley and Spen will not be defined by the one person who took from us, but by the many who give.”
Labour’s national election coordinator Andrew Gwynne said: “These remarks are appalling. That they come from the Conservative candidate beggars belief.”
He said Conservative leader Theresa May’s campaign should also “immediately apologise”.