Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Rachael Burford

Craig Mackinlay gets standing ovation as Tory MP returns to Parliament after losing limbs to sepsis

A Conservative MP who lost four limbs to a life-threatening bout of sepsis received a standing ovation as he returned to Parliament on Wednesday.

Craig Mackinlay attended Prime Minister Questions for the first time since he was struck down by the deadly illness last year.

Colleagues hailed the South Thanet MP’s “bravery” and “determination” after he was fitted with prosthetic legs and hands.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Mr Mackinlay had shown “incredible resilience" after almost losing his life.

Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle told the Commons that he was inspiration to people who have suffered from sepsis.

Mr Mackinlay revealed on Tuesday that he began feeling ill one evening in late September and when his condition worsened he was taken to hospital by ambulance.

The MP was put into an induced coma when he went into septic shock.

He awoke 16 days later to find his feet and hands has turned completely black and were “like plastic”.

Doctors at St Thomas’ hospital, across the river from the House of Commons, amputated his limbs on December 1.

At the end of Prime Minister's Questions, Mr Mackinlay asked: "Prime Minister, can we please ensure that we embed recognition of early signs of sepsis?

"It wouldn't have worked for me, mine was too quick and too sudden, but for many people they do get a few days. If we can stop somebody ending up like this, I would say that is a job well done."

He also called on health ministers to ensure the "provision of appropriate prosthetics" on the NHS.

Mr Sunak replied: "It is so wonderful to hear from him. Can I thank him for his kind words, but also personally pay tribute to his family who are here."

The MP lost all four of his limbs (GB News)

The Prime Minister also paid tribute to the NHS workers who looked after the Conservative MP, adding ministers were "working hard to raise awareness" of sepsis.

He went on: "Without getting into all the details I will just say that he is right, the NHS itself has recognised this morning that more needs to be done, and I can assure him that we will do that."

Mr Mackinlay paid tribute to his family, including wife, Kati, and their four-year-old daughter Olivia, as they adjust to him learning to use his prosthetic legs and hands.“You don't realise how much you do with your hands... use your phone, hold the hand of your child, touch your wife, do the garden,” he told the BBC.

“There's not much point moaning and complaining or getting down about the things you can't do.

"You've got to be cheerful and positive about things you can do and I find every day there's something new that I can do.

"None of this would be possible without my wife. I wouldn't be where I am today without her.”

Mr Mackinlay also vowed to fight his Kent seat at the next general election and wants to be known as the “bionic MP”.

He said: “When children come to Parliament's fantastic education centre I want them to be pulling their parents' jacket or skirts or their teacher and saying: 'I want to see the bionic MP today'."

Craig Mackinlay in hospital with his family (Family handout)

Polly Billington, the Labour candidate standing against Mr Mackinlay in the newly renamed East Thanet seat, said: “I want to extend my heartfelt sympathy to Craig Mackinlay in light of his continued recovery from sepsis.

“I know Craig is a battler and he has proved it by his survival of this awful ordeal. It serves as a poignant reminder of the indiscriminate nature of health challenges.

“Craig's journey underscores the critical role our National Health Service plays in saving lives. I commend the tireless efforts of the NHS staff who have played a crucial role in Craig's treatment.”

Former Prime Minister Liz Truss said she admired his "bravery and determination".

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said Mr Mackinlay had shown "incredible resilience" and he was "proud" to call him colleague.

Labour MP Chris Bryant added: "His stoicism and determination are inspirational. So glad he’ll be back in the Commons."

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.