Emotional moment as MP Craig Mackinlay who lost his hands and feet to sepsis returns to parliament

There were emotional scenes in the House of Commons as Tory MP Craig Mackinlay, who lost his hands and feet to sepsis, returned to parliament.

Mr Mackinlay, who has joked he wants to be known as the “bionic MP”, received a standing ovation on Wednesday as he made his first appearance in the Commons since his ordeal.

His wife Kati and their four-year-old daughter Olivia were sitting in the public gallery to watch the moment.

Prime minister Rishi Sunak paid tribute, saying he was in “awe” at his remarkable resilience and indicated NHS procedures would change as a result of the MP’s experience.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who shook Mr Mackinlay’s hand, praised his “courage and determination”.

MPs are technically barred from clapping but were allowed to on this occasion by the speaker.

Mr Mackinlay said it was “an emotional day for me” as he apologised for breaking Commons rules, including wearing trainers because his shoes would not go on over his new feet, and going without a jacket because it would not fit over his bionic arm.

He praised the prime minister for visiting him multiple times.

There was another outbreak of clapping when he paid tribute to NHS staff, also in the public gallery, who “took me from close to death to where I am today”, he said.

The MP for South Thanet was admitted to hospital in septic shock last September and was put into a 16-day induced coma.

He said he was “extremely lucky to be alive” after being given just a 5 per cent chance of survival

He said he had been “stoic” when he was informed of the decision by doctors to amputate his limbs.

“I haven’t got a medical degree but I know what dead things look like,” he said. “I was surprisingly stoic about it... I don’t know why I was. It might have been the various cocktail of drugs I was on.”

The MP has been fitted with prosthetic limbs and plans to campaign for early diagnosis of the condition that nearly killed him.

A former Ukip member, Mr Mackinlay has been a Tory MP since 2015 and said he intends to run at the next election.

He said: “When children come to parliament’s fantastic education centre, I want them to be pulling their parents’ jacket or skirts or their teacher and saying: ‘I want to see the bionic MP today.’”

Craig Mackinlay has joked he wants to be known as the ‘bionic MP’ (Sky News)
Craig Mackinlay has joked he wants to be known as the ‘bionic MP’ (Sky News)

He continued: “You don’t realise how much you do with your hands... use your phone, hold the hand of your child, touch your wife, do the garden.”

He says his prosthetic hands are “amazing ... but it’s never going to be quite the same”, adding: “So yeah, the hands are a real loss.”

The MP received a standing ovation as he returned to the Commons (PRU/AFP/Getty)
The MP received a standing ovation as he returned to the Commons (PRU/AFP/Getty)

He also spoke of the sense of loss the amputations still gave him. “You do get a little one every morning because you’re in the land of nod having a nice dream, and then you wake up and it’s ‘I haven’t got any hands’. That is the realisation every morning.

“It’s very easy to say – and I do try and stick to it – there’s not much point moaning and complaining or getting down about the things you can’t do.

“You’ve got to be cheerful and positive about things you can do and I find every day there’s something new that I can do.

“None of this would be possible without my wife… I wouldn’t be where I am today without her.”