Sun and Sane in PC clash over the word 'mad' in Madforarts

Simon Ellery

An unprecedented bond between mental health organisations and The Sun faces its first real test with a row over use of the word 'mad'.

The paper claimed Wallace had criticised Madforarts, a government-funded scheme that encourages people with mental health problems to express their views on art (Third Sector, 19 May).

Describing it as "unbelievably insensitive", the paper quotes Sane chief executive Marjorie Wallace as an "angry charity boss".

But Wallace has called on the paper to print a letter, stating her support for the use of the word 'mad' by the initiative. She said: "While we are first to condemn hurtful words, Sane believes that Madforarts is a welcome initiative and that the use of the word in this upbeat context should not offend."

Wallace added that she had said to a Sun journalist that words such as 'mad' should be 'tested' with user groups. "We were in no way trying to slam the project." She added: "It would be a shame if misinterpreted political correctness casts gloom over such an exciting project."

The move comes five months after The Sun's editor Rebekah Wade attended a Sane training course following the paper's infamous 'Bonkers Bruno' headline in January.

The Sun said it had received Wallace's letter.

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