Labour mayor kicked out of party for saying Boris Johnson 'deserves' coronavirus

8 April 2020, 14:55 | Updated: 8 April 2020, 15:07

A Labour mayor has been kicked out the party after saying Boris Johnson "deserved" his fight against coronavirus
A Labour mayor has been kicked out the party after saying Boris Johnson "deserved" his fight against coronavirus. Picture: Amber Valley Borough Council/PA

By Kate Buck

A Labour mayor has been expelled from the party for saying Boris Johnson "completely deserves" his battle with coronavirus.

Councillor Sheila Oakes, the current mayor of Heanor in Derbyshire, commented on a Facebook post asking people to "say a little prayer" for the Prime Minister.

She replied saying: "Sorry he completely deserves this and he is one of the worst PM's we've ever had."

When someone called her comment "cruel", Cllr Oakes then wrote: "Johnson has done absolutely nothing for the UK - have you heard how the nurses and doctors have no PPE, that there were not enough ventilators, that the NHS is massively underfunded and yet it is having to deal with this virus."

She apologised "unreservedly" for her comments, saying they were "something she said in anger", adding: "I have every sympathy for the Prime Minister’s family who are suffering considerably at this time.

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Cllr Oakes apologised but had the whip withdrawn
Cllr Oakes apologised but had the whip withdrawn. Picture: Amber Valley Borough Council

“It must be very difficult for them, and I hope his partner and the baby are well.“I hope that he makes a recovery and does not suffer any long-term ill effects.

“I do regret it, and I should not have said it. I apologise unreservedly for it. We all make mistakes, including Boris Johnson, and it will not happen again.”

But Cllr Oakes has now had the whip withdrawn, removing her from the party altogether and will now sit as an independent politician.

A spokesperson for the Amber Valley Labour Group said: "Following comments from Cllr Oakes on social media, which we utterly condemn, the Amber Valley Labour group withdrew the whip this morning, and can now announce this now the whip has spoken to Cllr Oakes.

Mr Johnson is currently in intensive are after battling coronavirus
Mr Johnson is currently in intensive are after battling coronavirus. Picture: PA

"This means that Cllr Oakes does not currently sit as a Labour councillor and further due process will follow.

"We wish the Prime Minister, and all who are suffering with this awful disease, a speedy recovery and send love and solidarity to them and their families.

"It would be inappropriate to comment further until due process has taken its course."

Mr Johnson was diagnosed with coronavirus nearly two weeks ago, and was taken to hospital on Sunday.

But on Monday his condition worsened, and he was taken to intensive care, where he is said to be "responding to treatment" and is in "good spirits".

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

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