Derbyshire mayor apologises for saying Johnson 'deserves' coronavirus

Amy Walker
·2-min read
<span>Photograph: Amber Valley district council/PA</span>
Photograph: Amber Valley district council/PA

A Derbyshire councillor has apologised for saying the prime minister “completely deserves this” after his admission to an intensive care unit.

Sheila Oakes, the mayor of Heanor, had the whip withdrawn by the Amber Valley Labour group after making the comments in response to a Facebook post about the news. While she is no longer a Labour councillor, she can sit as an independent politician.

Underneath a post asking people to say a “little prayer” for Boris Johnson on Monday night, Oakes wrote: “Sorry, he completely deserves this and he is one of the worst PMs we’ve ever had.”

On Tuesday, shetold the BBC she was sorry “for upsetting people and saying it”.

“I didn’t think what I said would upset so many people. It came across as not a nice thing to say,” she said. “I’m concerned about nurses and doctors who don’t have protective equipment. I said something when I was angry without thinking about the prime minister or his family.”

The leader of Amber Valley Labour group, Chris Emmas-Williams, told the broadcaster there would be an investigation into Oakes’ conduct.

“This behaviour is totally unacceptable and not what the Labour party are about,” he said. “I’ve not made the comments, but I feel as leader of the Labour group I have to apologise as well to Boris Johnson and his family, and we wish him well because we need everyone possible to fight this disease.”

Johnson was admitted to St Thomas’ hospital in London on Sunday with “persistent symptoms” of Covid-19, 10 days after testing positive for the virus. He was moved to intensive care at 7pm on Monday after his symptoms worsened.

According to Downing Street, he is being given oxygen but is not on a ventilator.