‘Don’t fall for it’: Fury at Labour councillor who said Boris Johnson’s ICU stay was ‘a publicity stunt for sympathy to change the narrative’
- Prime Minister was admitted into intensive care at a London hospital on Monday
- Julie Heselwood, Labour councillor in Leeds, faced backlash over the comment
- She has since removed her post from social media and issued an apology
A Labour councillor has apologised after saying that Boris Johnson being taken into intensive care was a publicity stunt.
Julie Heselwood came under fire for comments she made about the Prime Minister’s health after he was admitted into ICU at St Thomas’s Hospital in London on Monday.
She has since written a letter expressing her regret and extended her well-wishes to Mr Johnson.
Julie Heselwood (pictured) came under fire for comments she made about the Prime Minister’s health after he was admitted into ICU at St Thomas’ Hospital in London on Monday
Mrs Heselwood, a Labour councillor in Leeds, originally made the comments on Facebook while replying to a post by radio host Ryan Swain.
She wrote: ‘It’s a publicity stunt – they we’re [sic] doing badly being criticised for their handling of this, next thing he’s in hospital in ICU – a publicity stunt fir [sic] sympathy and to change the narrative. Don’t fall for it’
But the post sparked severe backlash.
One social media user wrote: ‘With a comment like that, you’re not fit to be a councillor for any party!’
Mrs Heselwood has since removed her post and has issued an apology.
Mrs Heselwood, a Labour councillor in Leeds, originally made the comments on Facebook while replying to a post by radio host Ryan Swain
She wrote to the leader of Leeds City Council and said: ‘I am deeply sorry for my crass and offensive comments about Boris Johnson’s hospital treatment.
‘I was wrong, I should never have made that claim and I apologise unreservedly.
‘I wish the Prime Minister a speedy recovery and my thoughts are with him and his family at what I know is a very difficult time for them.’
Mr Johnson (pictured last week) has since left the high-dependency unit with a spokesman from No 10 saying: ‘He is in extremely good spirits’
A Labour party spokesperson said: ‘Leeds City Council is working round the clock in one of the country’s largest districts to respond to this global public health crisis.
‘All Labour councillors are doing what they can to keep services running, keep people safe and support their communities.
‘Julie Heselwood fully accepts her post was wrong and has apologised unreservedly for it.’
Mr Johnson has since left the high-dependency unit with a spokesman from No 10 saying: ‘The Prime Minister has been moved this evening from intensive care back to the ward, where he will receive close monitoring during the early phase of his recovery.
‘He is in extremely good spirits.’
It comes as the latest figures show there are currently 65,077 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK with a death toll of 7,978.