By Digital Producer Katherine Clementine
A Labour mayor who publicly said Boris Johnson "deserved" to have coronavirus has lost her job over her offensive Facebook comment.
Sheila Oakes, who was the mayor of Heanor in Derbyshire, wrote on Facebook that the prime minister "completely deserves this and he is one of the worst PMs we’ve ever had".
VHS Fletchers Solicitors said in a statement: "These posts were made in a personal capacity, but it was clear from her Facebook biog that she was an employee of this firm, and as a result we became embroiled in understandable and legitimate criticism of what she had said.
"We can confirm that as of now Ms Oakes is no longer employed by this firm in any capacity. We have no knowledge of what her intentions are in relation to her political career.
"We have previously stressed that her views are not shared by the partners or any other members of staff. To wish illness upon anyone must be abhorrent to all right thinking members of the public. We are acutely aware of the distress that such posts can cause, both to the family and friends of the Prime Minister, but also to all of those affected by this terrible virus."
Miss Oakes' comment was written under a post which showed a message of support for medical workers, and it is understood it also may have also made reference to Boris Johnson.
She has since apologised "unreservedly", but the Labour Party has now withdrawn the party whip from her, effectively expelling her.
When her comment was described as "a cruel thing to say" by another Facebook user, Miss Oakes replied: "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."
In her apology, Ms Oakes said: “I would like to apologise if I upset anyone, it was not my intention.
“I didn’t mean that there should be serious consequences from the virus.
“I am concerned about the doctors and nurses who have not got protection equipment who are getting sick and dying themselves.
“This makes me angry about the lack of help for them. It was something said in anger.
“I have every sympathy for the Prime Minister’s family who are suffering considerably at this time.
“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.”