BRIDGWATER’S MP Ian Liddell-Grainger says many of his constituents have backed his controversial comments describing opponents of the badger cull as “malingerers and scroungers”.

Mr Liddell-Grainger made the comments in a regional newspaper column, after a dead badger was dumped on his doorstep.

He wrote that the animal had been beaten to death, and that leaving it outside his home was “clearly a gesture by the pro-badger tendency.”

He added: “I thought most of them were in the habit of lying in bed until the pubs open, or until the postman arrives with the benefit cheque (or do such things get paid straight into their accounts these days?) “Either way, since they are all malingerers and scroungers there is no real incentive to leap out of bed as soon as the dawn chorus strikes up.”

The column was followed up by national newspapers, and attracted many critical comments from their readers, with some labelling Mr Liddell-Grainger as out of touch.

However, speaking to the Mercury, the MP said most of the criticism had come from people who don’t live in rural areas.

He said: “I’ve not had a lot of feedback within the constituency.

“People from outside have made some comments.”

On his remarks about benefit cheques, Mr Liddell-Grainger said: “I’ve had as many people say ‘you are absolutely right’ as say ‘you are not’.

“People are saying to me ‘you’ve got a point – how are these people doing this, how have they got the time and money?’”

Mr Liddell-Grainger said he had written the column to make the point that dumping a badger was “not clever”.

He said: “What is the point in that? These people should get a life.”