A North Staffordshire mayor has been condemned – after sharing a tweet which said she trusted serial killers and rapists more than Boris Johnson.
Amanda Cartwright – a Labour town councillor and the current Mayor of Kidsgrove – posted the controversial meme on Twitter.
The image shared by Ms Cartwright was headed ‘Things I trust more than Boris’, with the list including ‘an injection from Dr Harold Shipman’, ‘a taxi ride from John Worboys’ and ‘The Covid-19 virus’.
It has drawn criticism from a number of people, including Stoke-on-Trent North Tory MP Jonathan Gullis.
Now Ms Cartwright has apologised ‘unreservedly’, saying that posting the image was a ‘genuine mistake’, and was due to her being ‘severely sight impaired’.
The Talke and Butt Lane councillor tweeted from a ‘personal account’ rather than one connected to the town council. It has since been deleted.
Mr Gullis shared Ms Cartwright’s post on his own account, describing it as ‘repulsive’ and ‘shocking’.
He said: “Posting this is truly shocking. As the mayor of Kidsgrove you should be a community champion.
“To joke about murders, rapists and coronavirus being more ‘trustworthy’ than the prime minister is repulsive.
“How would victims and their loved-ones feel about this?”
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Dr Shipman is the most prolific serial killer in English history. In 2000 he was convicted of murdering 15 of his patients, but investigators believe he actually killed around 250 people, most of them elderly women.
John Worboys, known as the Black Cab Rapist, was convicted for attacks on 12 women, and may have had more than 100 victims.
Ms Cartwright says she has learnt her lesson and vowed to be more careful on social media.
She said: “Last week I shared an image on my personal twitter account. This was done in haste and as a result of me being severely sight impaired, I failed to pay full attention to the text underneath the image which included language I do not endorse or support.
“This was a genuine mistake and I sincerely and unreservedly apologise for any offence caused.
“This has been a salutary lesson for me to check and think before tweeting in the future.”
Alicia Kearns, Conservative MP for Rutland and Melton, was among those who criticised the tweet.
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She said: “This is utterly disgraceful – a letter should be sent requesting a formal written apology.”
Sue Chadwick tweeted: “It shows she’s not fit for office. She should be an ambassador for the area and she clearly is not. She can think what she likes in private but posting this shows a massive lack of common sense and sensitivity to her public position. Oh dear!”
But other people have compared the tweet to the recent case of three Conservative MPs, including health minister Nadine Dorries, sharing a post from a far-right activist featuring a doctored video of Labour leader Keir Starmer.
Ms Cartwright was appointed Kidsgrove’s first citizen for 2019/20. Her term has been extended due to the coronavirus pandemic.