NDP MP sorry for 'scantily clad woman' attack
CTV.ca News Staff
Published Friday, December 7, 2007 11:30AM EST
New Democrat MP Irene Mathyssen has offered up a formal apology to Conservative MP James Moore after she accused him earlier this week of looking at pictures of "scantily clad women" on his laptop.
Moore, who sits in front of Mathyssen in the House of Commons, later explained the pictures were of his girlfriend.
"The member has explained what those images were and I have accepted his explanation," Mathyssen said Friday in the House, after cancelling scheduled events in her London-area riding and flying to Ottawa to make the statement.
"I recognize in hindsight that I should have approached the member and sought an explanation before I rose in the house. For that I am truly sorry."
She said she offered the apology "without qualification" and went on to apologize to Moore's family and all members of the House.
However, CTV's Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife cited a report in Friday's online version of the London Free Press, in which Mathyssen vowed to stand by her claims.
The MP told the paper she would only apologize for failing to speak to Moore before raising the issue in the House, not for making the accusation.
Fife said it's clear Mathyssen's party pressured her to offer up a full apology.
"She will probably have to explain to her local newspaper why she said one thing to them and another thing in the House of Commons," Fife told CTV Newsnet.
"But I'm sure that the New Democratic Party leadership said Irene, you were wrong, completely wrong on this, you owe Mr. Moore an apology, get up there and unreservedly apologize and let's put this matter to rest. That is what she has done."
Friday's apology was the second this week made by the NDP.
Libby Davies, the deputy leader of the party, formally apologized Thursday on the party's behalf for alleging that a Liberal candidate had attempted to bribe his NDP rival to pull out of the 2006 federal election.
The apology stems from an incident that occurred in Abbotsford, B.C., when the NDP candidate at the time, Jeffrerey Hansen-Carlson, accused David Oliver, a Liberal, and his campaign manager, of offering him a bribe in exchange for withdrawing and supporting Oliver.
"The New Democratic Party admits we seriously erred in making the allegations public and in putting a young and inexperienced candidate in a position where he felt justified in making those allegations," Davies said in the House.
The NDP admitted it has paid damages to Oliver and his former campaign manager to resolve a lawsuit launched by Oliver.