CBC News has learned that a Conservative MP’s decision to publicly call out media outlets for not covering his party’s controversial leader’s death and subsequent cover-up has created controversy in the Conservative caucus.
The MP, Scott Andrews, said Tuesday that his decision to share a photo of a group of journalists in Toronto who have covered his death was taken out of “a sincere effort to inform the public” of the party and its leader’s condition.
Andrews said he decided to share the photo because he had been asked to do so by reporters who were covering the funeral of former NDP MP and Conservative MP Jack Layton.
Layton died on Dec. 6 after a short illness and was not responding to medical treatment.
Laytons funeral took place just days after Andrews and other party members criticized the party for not doing more to investigate Layton’s death.
Andrews also said that the photo was taken outside a private residence where Layton lived.
“I was not doing anything wrong,” Andrews said.
“It was a public place.
It was a private property.
“This is not a public forum. “
I was in a private place, in a public building, and I was trying to communicate to the media the story of my personal experience.” “
This is not a public forum.
I was in a private place, in a public building, and I was trying to communicate to the media the story of my personal experience.”
Layton was killed while delivering a speech to the National Press Club in Toronto.
The photo is one of several that Andrews has shared on social media in recent days.
The image has drawn condemnation on social news sites such as Twitter and Instagram.
NDP MP Adam Vaughan tweeted Tuesday that Andrews “is out of touch with the realities of his own party and Canadians.”
“I’m sorry for your loss, but his tweet is out of context.
There’s a photo circulating of a party leader in a wheelchair being carried from a private area in Toronto to a public venue, and the media is covering it,” Vaughan wrote.
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair tweeted Tuesday afternoon that the Conservative MP was “in the wrong” and “out of touch.”
“His behaviour today was not good enough.
It is not acceptable,” Mulcair tweeted.
“We will fight for the truth and justice for Jack Laytton and his family.”
“The photo is not about Jack Laytons death. “
As members of the media, I want to unequivocally say that the actions I shared are unacceptable and wrong,” he wrote in the statement.
“The photo is not about Jack Laytons death.
Andrews said that he decided the photo to “show that we are not hiding behind a podium.” “
At no time was there any indication that this was a funeral or any attempt to cover up his illness.”
Andrews said that he decided the photo to “show that we are not hiding behind a podium.”
He said he was asked to share it by reporters covering Laytons funeral.
Andrews, who was appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in October, tweeted on Tuesday that he did not “want the media to go in a frenzy and say that I was the one who killed Jack Layson.”
“But if the media wants to know why we are the ones who are trying to bury him, let’s find out,” Andrews wrote.
Layson died of a cerebral hemorrhage at home on Dec, 6, after a period of inactivity, according to the government.
The National Post and the CBC reported that Layton suffered from an unspecified illness at the time of his death and that his wife, Elizabeth, and other family members were asked to remain at home for three days to prepare for the funeral.
The party had not been notified of Layton s condition until after his death.
Laytons widow, former NDP Leader Jack Laypton, was the first sitting member of Parliament to die in a Canada-wide crisis.
Laypton’s son, Joe, has since joined the Conservative Party and became a cabinet minister.
Layptons funeral will be held at the National War Memorial in Ottawa on Wednesday.
The Conservative Party of Canada issued a news release Tuesday afternoon acknowledging that the party is “deeply sorry” for the “unacceptable” photos.
“In light of recent events and our continuing commitment to our values of transparency and accountability, we are taking immediate action to correct these embarrassing images that have caused further harm to the integrity of our caucus,” the statement said.
The news release also stated that “the Conservative Party is committed to protecting the privacy of the families of our colleagues.”
Andrews also apologized to reporters for his earlier tweet, in which he said the “media will be told about Layton and Layton will be in his final hours.”
He also acknowledged that Laytson was not present at the funeral, which he described as a private gathering.
“My personal view