UK newspaper The Guardian has come under fire after it published an article stating that former Prime Minister David Cameron had only felt "privileged pain" after losing his son to an extremely rare disorder.
But the Guardian asked if Cameron "might have understood the damage his policies have done" if he had been seeking care for a parent rather than his child. The paper removed the comments hours after the article had been published.
A Guardian spokesperson said: "The original version of an editorial posted online yesterday fell far short of our standards. It was changed significantly within two hours, and we apologise completely.
🚨 The Guardian’s spokesperson on its editorial that swiped at David Cameron over the death of his disabled son:— Mark Di Stefano 🤙🏻 (@MarkDiStef) September 15, 2019
"The original version of this editorial posted online fell far short of our standards. It has now been amended, and we apologise completely.”
But screenshots later emerged of the original statements, resulting on a wave of backlash against the seemingly liberal and tolerant publication. Political journalist and commentator, Isabel Oakeshott, said that The Guardian's comments showed "its true colours" and were "institutionally hateful".
— Isabel Oakeshott (@IsabelOakeshott) September 16, 2019
ITV presenter for Good Morning Britain, Piers Morgan, slammed the Guardian as "disgusting" and "shameful", adding that the newspaper owed Cameron "a public apology".
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) September 16, 2019
UK media personality Katie Hopkins pointed out that the retracted comments "had to get past a back bench, an editor, legal" and "the Managing Editor", blasting them as "vile".
— Katie Hopkins (@KTHopkins) September 16, 2019
Conservative campaigner, Darren Grimes, said that the comments were "deeply revealing of the Guardian hive mind".
"i can't stop thinking about it," Mr Grimes said. "These people are really sick".
— Darren Grimes (@darrengrimes_) September 16, 2019
The Guardian editorial error was deeply revealing. Shows a mindset that is incapable of the most basic forms of empathy across political divisions.— Ian Dunt (@IanDunt) September 16, 2019
I’m genuinely horrified by the Guardian’s editorial about Cameron in tomorrow’s paper. I just hope that whichever sneering journalist wrote it never experiences a loss of a child and their own ‘privileged pain’. It should not have been published. pic.twitter.com/RUUZRQcyzd— Alexander Larman (@alexlarman) September 15, 2019
“Hmm if only there were things we could attack Cameron for,” says genius Guardian leader writer, “guess we’ll just have to go for his son dying.” https://t.co/oWBSHvDQr7— Alan White (@aljwhite) September 15, 2019
Speaking on the loss of his son Ivan, Mr Cameron said: "When you watch your tiny baby undergoing multiple blood tests, your heart aches. When they bend him back into the foetal position to remove fluid from the base of his spine with a long, threatening-looking needle, it almost breaks.
Cameron said that he wanted to praise "the extraordinary compassion in our health service" and added that caring for Ivan was "a world in which things had always gone right for me suddenly gave me an immense shock and challenge."
He wrote: "Nothing, absolutely nothing, can prepare you for the reality of losing your darling boy in this way. It was as if the world stopped turning.
David Cameron opened up about the death of his son on Sunday, after publishing excerpts of his memoirs, which spoke about numerous events in the former British leader's life. Ivan, who died when he was six years old, had cerebral palsy and Ohtahara syndrome, causing the child to suffer from up to 30 seizures a day. The disease causes seizures within the first 10 days of life, which become progressively worse over a few months time, and can be caused by structural abnormalities in the brain due to genetics or damage found at birth. The former PM also discussed current prime minister Boris Johnson's Brexit strategy and lambasted members of his cabinet, calling them "mendacious" and accused No 10 of "trashing the government".