Bradford North MP Terry Rooney was shot in the head in a suspected air gun sniper attack, it emerged today.

The 51-year-old suffered injuries to his face as he left his south east London home for the House of Commons and was taken to hospital.

His wife Susanne said he had been left shocked at the attack, which was one of a spate of shootings in the area believed to be a copycat of the Washington sniper.

Speaking from their Bradford home, Mrs Rooney said her husband had telephoned her from St Guy's and St Thomas's Hospital shortly after the attack on October 16 to explain what had happened.

"He came out of his home and he was shot in his nose, very near to his eye. Within three minutes the police had arrived and he was taken to hospital," she said.

"He has a cut on one side of his nose and a large lump on the top of his nose - it is quite nasty."

She said her husband, who was hurt just before 6am by a shot believed to have been fired from a tower block, had a meeting about Iraq with Prime Minster Tony Blair in the afternoon.

"He took himself out of hospital to go to the meeting with Tony Blair who sent him home," she said.

"He is not somebody who shouts about these things but he was in a mess."

Mrs Rooney said her husband was now travelling to and from work in the car instead of walking because he was so shaken by the ordeal.

She does not believe he was targeted because he is a politician.

"He is badly shocked but he didn't want to go to the press, he wanted the police to meet people in the area where is was happening," said Mrs Rooney.

"He is more concerned about the children at the nearby primary school and the market traders."

Police are investigating the attack.