BRENDAN Clarke-Smith has caused outrage after appearing to mock a woman's mental health on Twitter.

The Tory MP labelled political commentator Tan Smith a “vile internet troll” on Monday evening after she thanked a Samaritans volunteer for helping her at Glastonbury.

The post has still not been deleted despite generating hundreds of outraged responses.

Smith also responded, saying the post had caused her “severe distress”, sharing that she had lost a friend to suicide and lives with PTSD.

This isn’t Clarke-Smith's first brush with controversy, however.

Who is Brendan Clarke-Smith?

Clarke-Smith has been the Conservative MP for Bassetlaw in Nottinghamshire since December 2019. The seat had been consistently Labour for decades before the fall of the "Red Wall" in that General Election.

The former teacher – who grew up on a council estate in Nottingham – first stood as a Conservative Party candidate in 2003, when he was elected as a councillor at Nottingham City Council.

He then campaigned to leave the EU in the 2016 EU referendum and was a member of the Vote Leave campaign.

During Liz Truss's brief but disastrous time as prime minister, Clarke-Smith served as a parliamentary secretary at the Cabinet Office.

READ MORE: Tory MP Brendan Clarke-Smith 'mocks woman's mental health' on Twitter

Under Boris Johnson, he had previously been brought into government as a parliamentary under secretary of state at the Department for Education. However, Clarke-Smith was only handed this role to prop up Johnson's zombie administration after the digraced former leader's resignation but before he officially left office. 

Brushes with controversy

Clarke-Smith has been in the midst of controversy more than a couple of times during his political career.

Of note, he received media attention for his views on food banks, which he has described as a "political weapon", saying it is "simply not true" that "people can't afford to buy food on a regular basis".

He also opposed a Labour Party opposition day motion to extend free school meals in 2021, which was famously backed by footballer Marcus Rashford. Clarke-Smith said at the time: "We need to get back to the idea of taking responsibility.”

We also previously reported on how Clarke-Smith apparently mocked the appearance of a young Labour activist.

Lauren Howells, a 23-year-old campaigner for the Labour Party, joked on her account that Christmas was “ruined” after her boyfriend received a “Merry Christmas” letter from Tory Hartlepool MP Jill Mortimer.

Posting an image holding the card with her thumb pointing down on Sunday, Howells said: “Just found this on the shelf in boyfriend’s family home, Christmas ruined.”

On Boxing Day, Clarke-Smith replied to the post, suggesting Howells was “orange with rage” in an apparent attack on her appearance.

The comments were described as “disgraceful” and “misogynistic”.