'Get a grip': Lib Dem MP hits out at trolls celebrating Tory minister getting coronavirus

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer

A Liberal Democrat MP hoping to be her party’s next leader has criticised people for celebrating Tory minister Nadine Dorries’ coronavirus diagnosis.

Layla Moran, who announced she was standing to be Lib Dem leader at the weekend, hit out at trolls for their reaction to news that Dorries had tested positive for the illness.

Moran tweeted: “To those celebrating Nadine Dorries getting coronavirus: get a grip.

Health minister Nadine Dorries has revealed she has tested positive for coronavirus. (PA)

“The virus doesn’t care a jolt for political affiliation. It just shows no one is immune and more than ever we need to follow advice.”

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Several tweets have described the diagnosis as “karma”, while others called it “excellent news”.

Yahoo News UK has reached out to Twitter to determine whether any tweets have been removed for violating the platform’s terms and conditions.

Diagnosis revelation

Health minister Dorries said she has been self-isolating at home after testing positive for Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, and her parliamentary office has closed following advice from Public Health England (PHE).

A second MP – Labour’s Rachael Maskell – has gone into self-isolation after meeting Dorries last week, but revealed she was currently not showing symptoms of the illness.

The news came as latest figures showed that 382 people are now confirmed to have Covid-19 in the UK – up from 319 the day before – and six people have died in British hospitals.

Read more: British man, 60, who died from coronavirus 'fell ill instantly'

In a statement on Tuesday night, Dorries said: "As soon as I was informed I took all the advised precautions and have been self-isolating at home.

"Public Health England has started detailed contact tracing and the department and my parliamentary office are closely following their advice.

"I would like to thank PHE and the wonderful NHS staff who have provided me with advice and support.”

Read more: Why has Italy recorded the second most coronavirus cases in the world?

She later added: “It’s been pretty rubbish but I hope I’m over the worst of it now. More worried about my 84yo mum who is staying with me and began with the cough today.

“She is being tested tomorrow. Keep safe and keep washing those hands, everyone.”

Nadine Dorries attended a Downing Street event hosted by Boris Johnson on the day she began exhibiting symptoms for the coronavirus. (PA)

Contact tracing

Constituents who met Dorries last week face being contacted by health officials due to the MP testing positive for coronavirus.

Dorries held a surgery in her Mid Bedfordshire constituency on Friday morning which was attended by up to 12 people, according to Steven Dixon, chair of the Mid Bedfordshire Conservative Association.

He said it took place at The Flitwick Club, a private members' club, which is now undergoing a deep clean as a precaution.

Dixon said Dorries would likely have had one of her staff members with her for the surgery.

"There were probably... I'm going to say 10, maybe 11, 12 people that came to see her in total," Dixon said.

He said the details of all those who attended the surgery have been passed to the NHS.

Nadine Dorries is believed to have met up to 12 constituents last Friday. (PA)

Tests on ministers

Senior government ministers could now be tested for the coronavirus after Dorries became the first MP to be diagnosed with the illness.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said Dorries first exhibited symptoms at some time on Thursday – the same day she attended a Downing Street event hosted by Boris Johnson to mark International Women's Day.

A woman walks past a coronavirus public information campaign poster in London. (PA)

Number 10 did not comment on whether the prime minister had undergone testing for the coronavirus, or whether he will now be tested.

Read more: NHS 111 service is giving out-of-date coronavirus advice

A DHSC spokeswoman said Dorries, the 62-year-old MP for Mid Bedfordshire who began her career as a nurse, has been self-isolating at home since Friday.

Health secretary Matt Hancock insisted on Monday he will "do all that I can" to keep Parliament open during the coronavirus outbreak.