Bury North MP James Daly has elaborated on comments he made suggesting that most children who struggle in the town are the “products of crap parents”.

Tory MP Mr Daly, speaking to the i newspaper last week about election prospects for the town, stressed the importance of “stability” offered by the family unit as he outlined what the New Conservatives group of MPs stands for.

Mr Daly told the newspaper: “I think New Conservatives represent very much working-class conservatism.

“We’re not a strange right-wing sect. It’s just people who want to give people the best chance to succeed and thrive in life.

“When you think about the family, it’s about stability.

“Most of the kids who struggle in Bury are the products of crap parents and so what do we do to try to address that issue?

“On the left it would just be we’ll throw money at this and hope something sticks, somebody like me thinks about this more fundamentally.”

In response, James Frith, Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Bury North and the area's previous MP, said: “It is revealing to see how little James Daly thinks of his own constituents.

“Rather than insulting the parenting skills of people in Bury, he should look closer to home.

“Over the last 13 years the Conservatives have failed to grow our economy, protect our public services or provide opportunities for young people in Bury and across the UK.”

Bury Times: Former Bury North MP James Frith, Labour's candidate for the area in the next general electionFormer Bury North MP James Frith, Labour's candidate for the area in the next general election (Image: James Frith)

But Mr Daly has now elaborated on his comments and said he believes “every child in Bury should be given the best possible start in life, and parents, not the state, are the key to making that happen”.

Mr Daly says he was not from a privileged background, and that money was “incredibly tight” and he recalls “tough times”.

He added: “But I am where I am because my family gave me all the things that matter.

“It is why I care so deeply about doing everything possible to give children in Bury the chance to thrive and succeed.

“I have been a governor at Hoyle Nursery School for 12 years and a criminal solicitor in Bury for many years.

“In that time, I have always been struck by how unfair it is that some children are put at a disadvantage due to the nature of their upbringing.”

Mr Daly said it was “hugely concerning” that some pupils across the country and in Bury were “wearing nappies “or “do not know how to brush their teeth”.

He said: “In a minority of cases, some basic parental tasks appear to be sub-contracted to teaching staff.

“I believe the state can only do so much through intervention at school or elsewhere.

“Parental or guardian involvement in a child’s social and emotional development at early years is crucial.

“Clearly, the state has a role to play, but it should not be the case that the state takes on the role of a parent except in exceptional circumstances.

“All the academic evidence I have seen shows that if children fall behind during early years in these areas, it is extremely difficult to catch up to their peers and can have a potentially lifelong impact.”

He added: “Recently, at a café in Bury, I gave a lengthy interview to a national newspaper about what motivates me as a politician.

“While my political rivals have tried to use it to attack me, many people have contacted me to say they agree that we need to do everything to help families who need support.

“A retired teacher told me the key to a successful lesson is that the ‘student values education - and that valuation nearly always comes from the parent.’

“My opponent at the next general election can snipe from the sidelines, but it is telling that he is completely silent on Bury Labour’s mismanagement of our council’s children services and how this, as exhibited through recent Ofsted reports, has failed many of the most vulnerable children in our community.

“Children with brilliant parents will, for many nuanced reasons, go through serious challenges and difficulties in their lives.

“Being someone who lives, works, and has been involved in the education sector for more than a decade, I can say the vast majority of parents and carers in Bury do a fantastic job raising and supporting their children in every facet of their lives.

“What I have always tried to do is find ways to improve outcomes for the minority who face real social disadvantage.

“The state does have a role to play, but it is not simply a question of money or ever-increasing state intervention.

“Individual parental responsibility must be key to ensure each child has the opportunity to flourish.”

In response, Mr Frith said: "We all know what James Daly really thinks of hard pressed families in Bury and beyond.

"He should have apologised already for the offensive comments he made freely in an interview, instead he’s doubling down on them, adding insult to injury.

"It’s time he and this rotten government stand aside. Bury and Britain is yearning for change."

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