British MP sorry for tweet telling constituent to ‘get a life’ over coronavirus sick pay

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”.

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.

“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


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