Windsor

Tom Mulcair calls Essex MP Jeff Watson a 'servile follower' of PMO

Federal NDP Leader Tom Mulcair put a local Conservative MP on notice Thursday, painting a bull's-eye target on Jeff Watson's back.

NDP leader says veteran MP 'as vulnerable as every other Conservative candidate in this election'

Tom Mulcair calls Essex MP Jeff Watson a 'servile follower' of PMO 1:03

Federal NDP Leader Tom Mulcair put a local Conservative MP on notice Thursday, painting a bull's-eye target on Essex Jeff Watson's back.

Speaking in Amherstburg, Ont., this morning, Mulcair spoke about why he believes voters in Essex should support NDP candidate Tracey Ramsey and, conversely, why he thinks Conservative MP Jeff Watson isn't getting the job done.

The NDP leader suggested Watson goes to Ottawa to receive his marching orders from the government, rather than representing the people in his riding while in Ottawa.

"Jeff Watson has been the most servile follower of every line ever written for him by Prime Minister [Stephen] Harper's office," said Mulcair.

With respect to the Essex riding, Mulcair said "this riding is definitely in play."

Mulcair said that the New Democrats are best prepared to defeat the Conservatives at the polls in the coming election, scheduled for Oct. 19, and that it is not only Watson whose seat is vulnerable.

"Mr. Watson is as vulnerable as every other Conservative candidate in this election," he said.

Watson has held the seat in Essex for four consecutive elections. He has never been a cabinet minister. He became a parliamentary secretary two years ago.

CBC News reached out to Watson's office for response to Mulcair's comments on Thursday afternoon. A call-back is expected later today.

While Mulcair was speaking in Amherstburg, Watson was busy posting two messages on Twitter, slamming NDP policy and warning of the effect that an NDP government would have on the auto industry.

With files from the CBC's Geoff Nixon and Joana Draghici

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