Don't be too harsh on Australian DJs - Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood
Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood has called for calm after two Australian DJs were criticised for a telephone prank linked to the death of a nurse in London.
Jacintha Saldanha apparently took her own life after she was duped by a hoax call made by DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian to the King Edward VII's Hospital treating the Duchess of Cambridge.
The hospital worker transferred the presenters, believing they were the Queen and the Prince of Wales, to a colleague who reportedly described the condition of Kate during her treatment for severe pregnancy sickness last Tuesday.
Ms Saldanha, 46, from Bristol, was found dead three days later in a block of nurses’ flats close to the hospital.
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Her death is not being treated as suspicious and a post mortem examination into her death is due to be held today.
The incident has led to widespread criticism of the DJs but writing in today's Gloucestershire Echo Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood has called for calm.
The tragic death of Jacintha Saldanha unleashed a tide of abuse and criticism against Australian DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian who hoaxed her into believing they were Royals themselves.
The reaction before she died was more mixed. Some regarded the call as a bit of a laugh.
The BBC ran clips of it on their own website.
At worst it was judged really poor taste to trick a hospital or to risk what the local nursing union called ‘serious professional consequences’ for the staff involved.
But for the chairman of the private hospital to write after the event to the Australians, describing ‘premeditated and ill-considered actions’ leading to an outcome ‘tragic beyond words’, seems to shift too much blame onto them.
Greig and Christian have said, perfectly believably, that they never expected to be put through. Even then the call does not immediately sound like something that would cause someone’s death.
Apparently nurse Saldanha was not even being disciplined by the hospital.
Her death really is tragic.
Her family must be distraught.
But hysterical hostility towards two young presenters, who could not really have foreseen that death, will not bring her back.
It could even make the situation worse.
Highlights of the week:
Monday: Met members of Charlton Kings Youth Forum in Parliament, along with mentor Rob Reid.
They only represent clubs and youth groups now but judging by their questions, one or two might be after jobs in parliament before long.
Wednesday: The Chancellor delivered his wintry Autumn Statement.
A deepening recession in the Eurozone, our biggest trading partner, and faltering confidence in other worldwide markets clearly making the long hard task of rebuilding and rebalancing the UK economy even longer and harder.
There were backstage tussles beforehand between LibDems and Tories.
Gone are Conservative plans to take housing benefit from the under 25s or penalise anyone with more than two kids.
But there was no LibDem ‘mansion tax’ either and I’ll find the 1 per cent rise in some benefits – a cut in real terms – hard to swallow politically.
How much harder for those struggling to survive on them.