A LEADING charity has spoken out in defence of an SNP politician after a journalist referred to her as “the one with the crutch”.

It comes after Amy Callaghan, who suffered a brain haemorrhage in mid-2020 and spent four months in hospital, condemned Times writer Quentin Letts for describing her through her disability in a Westminster sketch he had penned.

The MP said Letts had “debased and humiliated” her.

The National:

He had written: “Eight Scots Nat buttocks shot airborne simultaneously, as if put up by beaters on a country shoot. One of the most mild-mannered of Conservative MPs, Gloucester’s Richard Graham, had just protested that Scots constituencies didn’t take any asylum seekers. ‘Cock a doodle doooooo!’ squawked four SNP women, and they rose faster than jacks-in-the-box.

“Joanna Cherry (Edinburgh South West), levitating like a cartoon fakir, jabbed a finger at the porcelain-delicate Graham. Kirsten Oswald (East Renfrewshire) expostulated, one very cross walrus. Another complainant who jumped to her feet had earlier been on a crutch. A miracle had occurred.”

Letts later referred to Callaghan again, clarifying that she was “the one with the crutch” he had mentioned earlier.

The lines appeared in the print edition of The Times, but were removed from the online version.

On Wednesday, the Stroke Association, the UK’s leading charity for people who have suffered a stroke, spoke out to condemn Letts’s comments.

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The Stroke Association wrote: “We’re incredibly disappointed to see this language used to describe APPG [All-Party Parliamentary Group] on Stroke member @AmyCallaghanSNP.

“After a stroke, the road to recovery can be challenging enough without also facing damaging attitudes that define people by their mobility aids.

“Two-thirds of stroke survivors leave hospital with a disability & many stroke survivors like Amy use mobility aids … “We're pleased to see it omitted from the online version. Comments like this about a disabled politician can negatively shape public attitudes toward disabled people.”

The Times did not respond to a request for comment.