Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is standing by a prominent candidate who has come under fire for carrying a protest sign that said “F– the police” more than a decade ago.
Horwath said that she believes Singh, a lawyer, no longer holds those opinions and upholds the justice system.
“I believe that’s it’s a despicable sentiment, and Gurratan actually has said so as well,” Horwath told reporters Tuesday.
“He’s very regretful that he held that sign a number of years ago, but look, Gurratan has changed his life around,” she said.
LISTEN: NDP Leader Andrea Horwath joins Tasha Kheiriddin on 640 Toronto
The photo was published Monday by right-leaning newspaper columnist Joe Warmington, who called Singh’s actions “pathetic.”
Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne called the image “disturbing” and said Horwath will have to explain how she can stand by her candidate.
“If this were a candidate on my team, I would not be able to support his candidacy,” Wynne said.
Burlington Liberal candidate Eleanor McMahon, whose late husband was a police officer, said Horwath should to ask Singh to step aside. She said the photo would make his job as a legislator “incredibly difficult.”
“How does he sit across from police officers now, and as a legislator, especially in the provincial government where our job is to uphold public institutions, and enhance and maintain confidence in them, how does he play a role as a Member of Provincial Parliament?”