‘Shocking and callous’: Tory MP rejects concerns over coronavirus low sick pay claims, tells constituent to ‘get a life’
While the coronavirus outbreak is causing heightened tensions amongst citizens around the globe, lawmakers in various countries are attempting to allay fears with a series of measures to tackle the spread of the deadly disease.
However, it would appear Pauline Latham – the Tory MP for Mid Bedfordshire – didn’t get the memo. She was tweeted by an alleged constituent, who asked whether statutory sick pay of £94 a week would be enough for the MP to live on if coronavirus forced her off work, to which Latham angrily replied: “Get a life.”
Tweeted my MP @Pauline_Latham about abysmal level of the statutory sick pay that families are going to be forced to live on if they get ill (if they’re lucky). Her reply?“Get a life.”This is my MP who will NOT have to live on £94 a week if she gets ill. pic.twitter.com/RpdVBdfLu5— MHughes #Environment #Wildlife #RSPB (@ML1Hughes) March 15, 2020
The 72-year-old’s terse reply incensed many on social media on Tuesday, as they criticized her lack of empathy for “frightened” citizens in a time of national crisis.
People are frightened. Not just of the virus, but of being unable to pay their rent and bills and feed their family. When asked how anyone can live on less than £100 a week does a Tory MP respond with reassurance? Empathy? Even sympathy? No. They say get a life. Says it all. pic.twitter.com/yN0nbl7yaT— Helen Connolly (@mshelenconnolly) March 17, 2020
Latham has since tried to explain her dismissive response to the concerned query, claiming that her words were meant for “keyboard warriors who so often attack but don't respond with anything.” She insisted on social media that she was “entirely sympathetic towards” statutory sick pay recipients.
It comes after PM Boris Johnson on Monday set out the need for “drastic action” to tackle the coronavirus spread, and in doing so shifted the UK government’s strategy to the pandemic. He called on citizens to avoid “non-essential” travel and social contact, and explicitly urged Britons to steer clear of pubs, clubs and theaters.
According to data modelers from Imperial College London, Britain is now adopting a strategy to suppress and stop the outbreak rather than contain it or “flatten the curve.” The government's advisers claim that more than a quarter of a million people would have died from Covid-19 under previous plans.Also on rt.com ‘Very existence’ of many pubs under threat as PM Johnson urges Britons to cut ‘non-essential’ social contact
While the UK had 1,543 confirmed cases of the disease – including 55 deaths – as of Monday afternoon, the new suggested measures were more of a mild recommendation, rather than the severe steps taken in mainland Europe.
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