Tory MP Pauline Latham apologises for telling man to 'get a life' on Twitter for asking if statutory sick pay is enough to live on

Louis Staples
Tuesday 17 March 2020 10:45
news
(Parliament / Twitter)

A Tory MP has defended herself after facing backlash for telling a constituent to “get a life” for asking about statutory sick pay.

Pauline Latham, the MP for Mid Bedfordshire, tweeted telling a man go “get a life” after he asked her whether £94 statutory sick pay is enough to live off.

Many people have become anxious about whether they will be able to provide for themselves or their families amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Currently, workers need to earn at least £118 a week to qualify for statutory sick pay, which is less than £100 a week, although the government has suggested this may be reviewed.

After thousands of tweets flooded in condemning her remarks, Latham later defended herself on Twitter, saying she was talking about “keyboard warriors” and has “every sympathy” with people who are worried about money in this “stressful time”.

She told the Evening Standard that the tweet "wasn’t in relation to that post", saying:

It was a general tweet or meant to be.

I don’t usually do twitter because my office post for me as I’m not techie.

This didn’t stop people from being absolutely furious with her, though.

So as backlash grew even more she tweeted out an apology, saying that she herself is having a very stressful time of it.

Other countries, including France, Sweden and New Zealand have introduced a string of measures to support vulnerable workers during this time. It remains to be seen if the UK will follow suit.

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