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The Globe and Mail

Liberal spin doctor who questioned Danny Williams’s mental health steps down

The spin doctor for the Liberal Opposition in Newfoundland and Labrador who once questioned the mental health of former premier Danny Williams says he's stepping down.

Craig Westcott, a former journalist, says he will leave his position as the party's director of communications at the end of this month and return to the newspaper business.

Last November, Mr. Westcott apologized for an email questioning whether Mr. Williams — who was premier at the time — was mentally ill or in the last stages of syphilis.

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Mr. Westcott wrote the email to Mr. Williams's communications director in February 2009 while working as a journalist, but its existence only became public last year.

News of his resignation comes days after the Liberals selected a new leader to succeed Yvonne Jones, who suddenly resigned last week for health reasons.

Mr. Westcott says he had planned to stay in his position until after the provincial election in October, but saw an opportunity to leave earlier with the change in leadership.

He says he discussed his decision with Ms. Jones, who relieved him from his obligations.

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