An MP has apologised for telling a constituent to “get a life” when she was questioned about the level of statutory sick pay available to coronavirus sufferers.
Conservative MP Pauline Latham said she was “in a state of distress” at the time she sent the message.
The Mid Derbyshire MP said she was responding to a message which “pushed me over the edge” but was “very sorry I reacted so hastily”.
Get a life
— Pauline Latham (@Pauline_Latham) March 14, 2020
The Conservative MP was asked by Twitter user MHughes “is £94 a week SSP … enough to live on?”
“How could you manage on it?”
Ms Latham responded: “Get a life.”
But in a subsequent post, the MP said: “I must apologise for the Tweet to a constituent over the weekend.
“At the time, I was in Spain in a state of distress having just visited my brother who is suffering from acute dementia.
At this time of stress, I received a Tweet from what I perceived to be a keyboard warrior and it pushed me over the edge. I am very sorry I reacted so hastily. 2/2
— Pauline Latham (@Pauline_Latham) March 17, 2020
“Very sadly, we could not bring him home to the UK because of Coronavirus.
“At this time of stress, I received a Tweet from what I perceived to be a keyboard warrior and it pushed me over the edge.
“I am very sorry I reacted so hastily.”
The UK Government has come under pressure over the level of financial support available to workers who contract coronavirus or are required to self-isolate.
The current level of statutory sick pay is £94.25 a week.
- Useful information
- The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
- Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people – this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department;
- GPs Out of Hours services are not in a position to order testing for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is an information line and similarly not in a position to order testing for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at all times.
- ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024