An angry, homophobic email has put a City of North Vancouver mayoral candidate on the defensive weeks before the municipal election.

Kerry Morris wrote the email to his lawyer as part of a civil proceeding in 2009, referring to another attorney in the case as a “gay little pud-knocker” and using a derogatory term for homosexuals.

“I would never tell that missirible (sic) little prick what a perm-headed f**** I truly believe him to be,” Morris wrote.

The man Morris was referring to was also cc’d on the message.

On Wednesday, the candidate apologized and said he regrets the outburst.

“It was a poor choice of words at a bad time under a great deal of pressure. There was no excuse. I apologized to the individual I sent it to,” he said.

Morris also said the lawyer he insulted is not actually gay.

His opponents aren’t keen to let him off with an apology, however. Incumbent North Vancouver Mayor Darrell Mussato condemned Morris’s language during a groundbreaking Wednesday.

“I was just shocked when I read it, I couldn’t believe what I was reading,” Mussato said.

Morris’s email was discovered in court documents by fringe candidate George Pringle, who also released it publicly. Pringle said the move could be construed as campaign mudslinging, but that it was still in the public’s interest.

“It’s mud that’s stuck. The people have a right to know,” he said.

With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Scott Roberts