A reminder that the NHS is just another nasty British bureaucracy: ‘urgent care centre’ staff refused to treat son’s head wound that he suffered after falling over in their clinic
A two-year-old bleeding heavily from a severe head wound was refused emergency first aid at an NHS urgent care centre – even though he suffered the injury in the waiting room.
Apo Bakan tripped and banged his head on a chair, leaving a gash on his forehead that exposed his skull. His mother Linzi pleaded for help but a nurse and a GP told her to go to the nearest A&E unit instead because they didn’t deal with ‘things like this’.
Mrs Bakan, 27, said: ‘Apo was covered in blood. When I saw his skull I was hysterical. I begged staff to help but they wouldn’t. There was no comfort, no care and no compassion.’
Mrs Bakan had taken Apo to the Doctor Piper House Urgent Care Centre in Darlington with her husband, also called Apo, in May 2012 to ask about a skin complaint. The boy’s wound was later stitched up at The University Hospital of North Durham.
A PCT spokesman said it could not comment on the case.
The incident was revealed after a probe into UCCs, which are earmarked to replace A&E units, found they are inadequately staffed, with some personnel not qualified to prescribe drugs.
Health officials are keen to roll out the clinics in order to free up space in over-crowded casualty units. In many hospitals, a UCC acts as the first port of call for patients, who are then referred to the A&E next door if necessary.
But there are serious concerns the units are not up to the job – and could actually increase strain on the NHS.
In London, five major A&Es have been downgraded to become UCCs staffed by GPs and nurses but with no emergency care consultants.
The downgraded departments will be prevented from treating a huge array of life-threatening illnesses, such as shock, internal bleeding, most broken bones, breathing problems, heart attacks and strokes.
There has been huge opposition from doctors and patients during a public consultation period, and campaigners argue that residents in some of the most deprived areas of the capital will be put at risk.
The Primary Care Foundation report, written by GPs, NHS managers and consultants, examined 15 undisclosed UCCs across England.
It said: ‘The availability of particular types of service often varied by time of day. Sometimes, this was planned (so X-ray facilities might be available for only part of the opening hours, or GPs might be available for part of the time only).
‘This variability increases the risk that a patient may attend for a condition that cannot be treated by the service, increasing delay and clinical risk.’
Some UCCs offered a full range of services and skilled staff that was nearly the same as a fully functioning A&E. But others were little more than walk-in centres that could treat only the simplest cases seen in GP surgeries.
Some centres offered ‘nurse only’ services with no doctors on duty, which meant that the type of patient who could be seen and treated depended on the qualifications of the nurse on duty.
The report concluded UCCs should be able to treat or refer all patients who attended and that there should be no unnecessary delay.
It has called on NHS chiefs to ‘make sure that the advertised services are available consistently over time and not subject to variation depending on who is on duty’ in order to protect patients.
NHS patients being placed on controversial ‘death pathway’ by doctors who have never previously been involved in their care
Leading doctors have claimed NHS patients are being routinely placed on the controversial Liverpool Care Pathway by out-of-hours medics who are ‘strangers’ who have never been involved in their care.
The claims suggest patients are often left to die on the end-of-life regime, which involves being deprived of drugs, food and water, after doctors make decisions based on ‘bedside evidence’ alone and without fully understanding the patients’ condition or medical history.
The Liverpool Care Pathway is designed to ease suffering in the final hours or days of those suffering a terminal illness.
Hospitals can no longer reap financial rewards by putting patients on the Liverpool Care Pathway, a scheme that governs the treatment of the seriously ill
Hospitals will no longer be able to reap financial bonuses by putting patients on the Liverpool Care Pathway, a scheme that governs the treatment of the seriously ill. File picture
But the Government is reviewing the procedure after relatives complained their loved ones were placed on it without their knowledge. Now doctors speaking to Channel 4’s Dispatches programme, to be broadcast tomorrow evening, have described the situation as ‘inhumane’.
The programme highlights the case of Sammy De Francisci, who was put on the pathway by out-of-hours doctors after suffering a series of strokes and dementia but went on to live for a further 14 months after his own doctor reversed the decision.
The Liverpool Care Pathway has been the subject of much debate since it was introduced in the 1990s.
More than 130,000 people are put on it each year but it was revealed in December 60,000 patients die on the procedure each year without giving their consent.
Concerns have been raised that clinical judgments are being skewed by incentives for hospitals to use the pathway.
Health trusts are thought to have been rewarded with an extra £30million for putting more patients on the LCP.
Critics say it is a self-fulfilling prophecy because there is no scientific method of predicting when death will come.
Norman Lamb, the care services minister, launched a review in November, saying there had been too many cases of families not being consulted and hospitals will not longer be able to make financial gains from the procedure.
But some people say it allows the terminally ill to die with dignity. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said last year the scheme is a ‘fantastic step forward’ for those who are near death and that it is designed to bring ‘hospice-style care’ to hospitals.
‘I would not send a dog to that hospital’: Data expert claims NHS hired her to fiddle death figures
A whistleblower claimed last night that she was hired by an NHS hospital to fiddle its shocking death rates.
As hundreds of patients died needlessly, Sandra Haynes Kirkbright says she was headhunted by hospital bosses and asked to ‘fix’ the figures.
She claims ‘every rule in the book’ was broken to try to improve mortality rates – without saving lives.
The data recorder says she was suspended after refusing to take part in a cover-up, and even claims she was ordered not to put her concerns in writing in case they reached the Press.
The astonishing allegations – which are denied by the hospital – have emerged days after the chief executive of another NHS Trust, in Bolton, was forced aside over a possible cover-up of high death rates.
Experts have warned similar incidents could be happening in hospitals across the country.
The fresh allegations are yet another blow for NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson, who refuses to resign despite widespread condemnation from MPs, doctors and patients since last month’s damning Mid Staffordshire report.
Mrs Haynes Kirkbright was hired by the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust as a ‘health coder’, an administrative role which involves recording data detailing patients’ care in hospitals.
Coders do not need medical qualifications, leading critics to argue that they have disproportionate power to affect how hospitals are seen to be performing.
Mrs Haynes Kirkbright, from Texas, said she was approached following concerns over the shocking number of weekend deaths, which had contributed to the Trust scoring one of the highest mortality rates in the country.
She said she ‘wouldn’t even send a dog’ to Royal Wolverhampton Hospital and claims patient care was as bad or worse as at scandal-hit Stafford Hospital, where as many as 1,200 patients died needlessly.
But instead of making efforts to improve care, bosses at the Trust were convinced that the high death rate could be ‘fixed’ by fiddling statistics, she said.
She claimed they offered to almost double her salary to £54,000 a year to distort mortality figures, mistakenly believing she had been doing the same at her former employer, Stafford. ‘They wanted me to fix it. But they didn’t want me to fix it properly,’ she said.
She took the job in October 2011 – but said that when she realised what hospital bosses wanted her to do, she refused. However, she claimed others at the Trust were ‘breaking every rule in the book’.
For example, recording that a patient was being treated by the palliative care team means their death, effectively, does not alter the mortality rate, because it is classed as unavoidable.
She claims the Trust used any excuse to code patients’ deaths as unavoidable, even if they were never seen by palliative care doctors.
The Trust angrily denies this claim – yet between 2009 and 2011, Wolverhampton’s death rate dropped by 13 per cent, from very worrying levels to the national average.
This coincided with the number of deaths recorded as ‘palliative care’ soaring from 2.19 per cent to 20.3 per cent, about double the national average.
The whistleblower said the Trust also hired an independent company in 2011 to advise coders on how to make deaths count for less on the mortality score – yet said she made sure this was not acted on.
And she also claims she accused bosses of fraud as the Trust was making money by charging the local Primary Care Trust for expensive procedures they had not done.
In response, she says a senior figure warned her not to put allegations in writing because ‘the Press can get hold of it through Freedom of Information’.
After four months at the Trust, Mrs Haynes Kirkbright was suspended for alleged bullying and harassment – which she denies. She says the real reason she was suspended was to silence her. She is still suspended pending a disciplinary hearing, but decided to speak out despite fearing the repercussions.
The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust strenuously denied Mrs Haynes Kirkbright’s allegations.
Chief executive David Loughton said ‘every Trust in the country looked to Mid Staffs’ at the time to learn how to reduce death rates – but denied hiring Mrs Haynes Kirkbright to ‘fiddle’ death rates.
‘We categorically deny the allegations,’ he said. ‘The suggestion of any wrongdoing is simply not true. Improvements in the hospital’s mortality rates have been audited and independently verified.’
The Trust admitted, however, they had been coding against national guidelines, but said they corrected this as soon as they became aware of the mistake.
The Trust added that it was ‘categorically false’ to suggest palliative care patients had been coded incorrectly to alter overall death rates. They explained the fall by saying 200 fewer patients had died.
Migration to Britain at lowest level for a decade: Curbs on non-EU students and workers cut number of new arrivals by 74,000
Immigration into Britain has fallen to its lowest level in nearly a decade. The number of people coming to live in UK fell by 74,000 in the 12 months to June last year as curbs on students and workers from outside Europe began to bite.
But there were warnings that the Government’s successes may be reversed when the labour market is thrown open to workers from Romania and Bulgaria at the end of this year.
In the year up to June some 515,000 migrants came into Britain, the fewest since 2003 which was the year before the borders were opened to Poles and other East European workers.
Falling numbers of immigrants reduced the key total for net migration – the number by which the population has swollen after both immigration and emigration are taken into account – to 163,000.
The level was down by more than a third in a year, putting Home Secretary Theresa May well on the way to achieve the Coalition ambition of reducing net migration to the ‘tens of thousands’ by the next election.
Immigration think-tanks said restrictions on migration from outside Europe, introduced by Mrs May as she tries to tackle Labour’s disastrous legacy and rebuild Britain’s borders, are now having a major impact.
Net migration of 163,000 compares to 247,000 in the previous 12 months, to June 2011, yesterday’s figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed.
The count reveals net migration falling steadily. It was 183,000 in the year to March 2012, according to figures released at the end of last year.
The net migration figures were last at 163,000 in 2008 when foreign workers left Britain as jobs began to dry up at the beginning of the financial downturn.
Otherwise the figure is the lowest since 1999, two years after Tony Blair came to power and opened the immigration floodgates, when it was also 163,000.
This time the falling level is not due to emigration – which in the year to summer 2012 remained similar to the year before – but to reductions in immigration.
One major drop came in numbers of students from outside Europe which were down to 197,000 from 239,000 in the previous year.
However, the figures give the lie to warnings from university chiefs, MPs and business leaders that student curbs would deter the brightest from coming to Britain.
In fact there was a 3 per cent increase in the number of visas issued for students wishing to study at universities in Britain.
By contrast, there were falls of 62 per cent in visas issued for other colleges and 69 per cent in those for language school students.
The figures indicate that visa restrictions have successfully curbed the misuse of the student visa system by bogus colleges operating as a front for economic immigration.
Immigration Minister Mark Harper pointed out that ‘the numbers of skilled people being sponsored by UK employers in sectors such as IT and science have also increased’.
Overall the number of people from New Commonwealth countries – such as India and Pakistan as well as African nations such as Botswana – coming to live in Britain in the year to June last year went down from 168,000 to 117,000.
A second big fall in immigration was a result of reduced numbers coming from Poland and Eastern Europe.
The ONS recorded 62,000 migrants from Poland and the seven other countries that joined the EU in 2004 in the year to summer 2012, compared to 86,000 in the year before.
It was the lowest inflow from Eastern Europe since the borders were opened to citizens of the eight countries in April 2004.
Most other EU countries exercised their right to delay opening their labour markets for seven years. The ONS report said that now all the EU borders are open to Poles and Eastern Europeans, they may have gone to other countries such as Germany.
In 2007 Britain did close its labour market to migrants from Romania and Bulgaria when those countries entered the EU.
However, the seven-year rule means Romanians and Bulgarians have the right to come to work in Britain freely from January.
The 515,000 immigration total was down from 589,000 in the previous year. It was the lowest figure since 2003, when 511,000 immigrants were recorded. Immigration peaked at 600,000 in the year to September 2010.
Mr Harper said: ‘Our tough reforms are having an impact in all the right places – we have tightened the routes where abuse was rife and overall numbers are down as a result.’
Sir Andrew Green, of the MigrationWatch think-tank, said the figures were ‘welcome evidence that the Government’s policies are starting to take effect’.
But he warned: ‘The main risk now to the Government’s objective is an inflow from Romania and Bulgaria next year.
‘This adds to the case for making sure that the benefits system does not undermine the immigration objective so crucial to the future of our society.’
Teacher at £13,000-a-year British girls’ school was fired after taking hundreds of pictures on school trip using his OWN camera
British photography phobia again. And he ‘failed to follow procedure.’ How awful!
A respected teacher at a prestigious £13,000 pounds-a-year girls’ school was sacked for taking hundreds of photographs of a school trip on his own camera, a tribunal heard today.
Christopher Hammond, long-standing head of German at the elite Abbey School, was dismissed because he used his own camera to take the pictures rather than following guidelines to use a school-owned device or memory card.
While none of the content of the images was said to be indecent, Mr Hammond was dismissed following the episode as he had ‘failed to follow procedure.’
The camera enthusiast deliberately flouted well-known school rules prohibiting such conduct despite previous warnings about his behaviour, the headteacher who dismissed him claimed.
Mr Hammond today took his case for unfair dismissal, sex discrimination and age discrimination against the Abbey School, Reading, Berkshire, to an employment tribunal.
The school denies the claims. The tribunal heard how Hammond joined the independent school in September 2000 and was dismissed on May 20 2011.
As the head of the German languages department he was responsible for organising trips to the European country and also co-ordinated exchange visits with German students.
Mr Hammond also ran the school’s Duke of Edinburgh award scheme participation and would accompany pupils on expeditions, often in sole charge of groups, the tribunal was told.
It was alleged that during a week-long trip to Germany in April 2011 he took 870 photographs of pupils, documenting the trip.
Abbey School headmistress Barbara Stanley told the tribunal that safeguarding pupils’ personal data was paramount and Mr Hammond’s conduct merited dismissal.
Barrister Oliver Hyams, representing Mr Hammond, described the former Abbey School teacher as a keen amateur photographer who had ‘come quite late to the revolution in digital photography,’ adding: ‘He was an enthusiast about Germany and going there on trips, the Duke of Edinburgh Award, teaching and photography.’
He also said Mr Hammond could appear set in his ways or old-fashioned.
Headteacher Mrs Stanley, who qualified as a teacher in 1973, said that schools had to take ‘the utmost care’ in safeguarding information about pupils.
In her evidence to the tribunal in Reading, Berkshire, she said: ‘As information technology – digital cameras, the internet and social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter – has evolved, it has become far easier for information such as photographs and videos to be shared.
‘As a result, schools must now do everything within their power to ensure that personal data about pupils – including, for example, photographs – are used, stored and transmitted appropriately.’
The school has a strict ICT policy for staff which is kept under regular review by deputy head Kathryn Macaulay, said Mrs Stanley, referring to Department for Education guidance stating that photographs taken of pupils for school purposes must be taken and stored on school-owned equipment and never by teachers’ own equipment.
Mrs Stanley, who has been a headteacher for the last 18 years with 11 of those at The Abbey, said she had suspended Mr Hammond during a phone call on May 4 2011.
On the same day she sent a letter to Mr Hammond detailing the allegations against him, which were that he had breached school policies and refused to follow an instruction from his line manager by carrying on taking pictures when told not to.
She also contacted the police on the advice of the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO), she said.
Just over a week later, on May 12 2011, Mrs Stanley said she met with Mr Hammond and a trade union representative acting on his behalf.
‘There was virtually no factual dispute,’ said Mrs Stanley, a former geography teacher. He accepted that he had been provided with a school camera for use on the trip.
‘When asked, by his own representative, why he had not used it, he said that he had not brought it with him.
‘He accepted that he had taken pictures of pupils on his own camera. He accepted that this was in direct contravention of the school’s policies.
‘He accepted that he was aware of the policy, having received updated safeguarding training less than a week before the incident. He accepted that he had downloaded these photographs onto his personal computer.
‘He accepted that he had refused to follow Mrs Byrne’s instruction to stop taking photographs.
‘He accepted that he had breached the acceptable use policy but said he did not see anything wrong with using his own camera.’
Mrs Stanley said she thought ‘long and hard’ before dismissing Mr Hammond, adding: ‘I bore in mind that the security and welfare of our pupils is our prime responsibility.’
The incident on the school trip in April 2011 was ‘not the first or even second incident of this sort,’ said Mrs Stanley.
‘I consider that it would have been disproportionate to dismiss without giving the claimant a chance to demonstrate that he could follow the policy.
‘However, at the time of his dismissal the claimant had been warned on about five occasions not to take photos of school pupils on his own camera over a 12-month period.
‘This was despite the fact that the claimant was not only given a school camera to use but knew that all staff had been offered the option of a school memory card for his or her own camera.
‘The claimant was warned formally in a meeting with his NASUWT rep on July 5 2010 and again following a disciplinary hearing in December 2010, when he was warned that further incidents could lead to dismissal.’
Mr Hammond had received training on child protection and safeguarding, she said, with the last session on April 8 2011 – less than a week before the trip which resulted in his sacking on grounds of gross misconduct.
Mrs Stanley added: ‘I accept that it is unlikely that he personally would use these photos to cause harm but that is not the point.’
She said Mr Hammond’s actions ‘made it impossible for us ever to be completely sure he was suitable to work with children’, prompting the school to alert the LADO.
She also said Mr Hammond had been receiving support as a teacher for several years and had displayed a ‘flagrant failure to meet and sustain his targets’ in the classroom.
‘Many parents had become concerned and a selection of parental complaint letters and emails were submitted,’ she added.
Mr Hyams told the tribunal Mr Hammond had been a keen photographer for 10 years at the time of the incident. Pictures he had taken were even used by the school in publicity material, he said.
Mr Hammond had been provided with a camera from the school as well as an SD memory card and a USB card reader in advance of the trip, said Mr Hyams.
The equipment meant that any photographs taken using the camera could be downloaded onto any computer rather than just school machines, meaning the rules made ‘no sense in practical terms,’ Mr Hyams told Mrs Stanley.
She replied: ‘It’s because not everybody does act honourably that you have to have so many rules and regulations.’
Despite this, Mrs Stanley admitted she had given Mr Hammond permission to take photographs of a school trip on his own camera when they were both on a visit to Christmas markets in Aachen in 2010.
She told the tribunal: ‘We were colleagues on a trip where I was trying to support him. I was there all the time he was with the girls, therefore I knew where the photographs were.’
Mrs Stanley added: ‘We went through what he should have done and why he should have done it and I told him what he should do next time.’
Wearing a smart grey suit over a red jumper and a white shirt with a blue tie, bespectacled Mr Hammond of Canterbury, Kent, looked calm as he listened intently to the proceedings.
The Abbey School is a top independent day school for girls with more than 1,000 pupils aged between three years and 18 years old and is based in Kendrick Road, Reading, Berkshire.
A total of around 250 staff are employed at the institution.
The school, which was founded in 1887 and named after the previous school at The Abbey Gateway in Reading where Pride and Prejudice novelist Jane Austen had been a pupil, was ranked 57th in The Sunday Times top independent schools 2012.
Annual fees at the school cost up to £13,290 pounds.
The employment tribunal hearing in Reading, Berkshire continues before judge Andrew Gumbiti-Zimuto and is scheduled to last for seven days.
So much for global warming! Four out of the last five British winters have been COLDER than average
Cold weather usually requires some degree of hibernation.
But if you feel like the urge to curl up in your duvet and never leave the house has been getting stronger over the past few winters, well – you’re right.
Because four out of five of them have been chillier than average, according to the Met Office.
There is hope on the horizon, however. Today marks the beginning of spring – albeit in the meteorological calendar.
Met Office figures showed that the average temperature for this winter was 3.3C (38F), 0.4C below the 30-year seasonal average of 3.7C (39F).
With the exception of 2011/12, which was milder at 4.6C (40F), every winter since 2007/08 has been colder than the average. The winters of 2009/10 and 2010/11 were particularly chilly, with average temperatures of 1.6C (35F) and 2.4C (36F) respectively.
But forecasters say the recent crop of cold winters is part of normal weather patterns.
Both 2006/07 and 2007/08 were very mild winters, with mean temperatures of 5.6C (42F) and 4.9C (41F).
Forecaster Helen Chivers said a cyclical phenomenon known as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) could be contributing to the colder winters.
This describes the pattern of high and low pressure above Iceland and the Azores. In years when air pressure is high above Iceland, Britain tends to get colder winds blown from the north. When it is higher over the Azores, Britain basks in warmer air.
She said: `This is the classic example of the variability that we can see in the British weather. If you look back past the last five years, then three out of the last seven winters were milder than average, while 2006/07 was the second warmest on record. The recent trend does suggest there are natural cycles that influence our weather, with a negative NAO also occurring in the 1960s and 1980s and resulting in colder winters.’
She explained that this winter was a season of `two halves’, with more rain falling in December than in January and February combined. She added: `This winter being slightly colder than average does not tell the whole story.
`The first half of winter, the temperatures were normal but it was a mixture of sunshine and heavy rain, which led to flooding. But after mid-January, we have had cold and snowy weather.
`The chilly spell continued, which has pushed the average temperatures down, but February was dry.’
But the weather should soon be improving. She said: `Temperatures are returning to normal after the weekend, up to 12C (54F) with the very cold weather now coming to an end. March is looking mixed, with colder weather perhaps returning in a couple of weeks’ time.’
Holocaust row: Liberal MP who condemned ‘the Jews’ to escape punishment while he has TRAINING in how not to be anti-Semitic
A Lib Dem MP who sparked a row on the eve of a Holocaust memorial with comments about ‘the Jews’ is to escape censure while he receives training in how not to be offensive.
Campaigners accused Nick Clegg of not taking anti-Semitism seriously after it emerged that plans to punish Bradford East MP David Ward have been ‘adjourned’ while he learns what language to use in future.
The row comes as the Lib Dems reputation has been battered by allegations of a cover-up over groping claims against Lord Rennard and the resignation of former Cabinet minister Chris Huhne, who faces jail for perverting the course of justice.
Embattled Lib Dem leader Mr Clegg staged a showdown meeting with Mr Ward over his ‘unacceptable’ comments in which he accused ‘the Jews’ of atrocities against Palestinians.
Days before the annual Holocaust Memorial Day last month, Mr Ward wrote on his blog: ‘Having visited Auschwitz twice – once with my family and once with local schools – I am saddened that the Jews, who suffered unbelievable levels of persecution during the Holocaust, could within a few years of liberation from the death camps be inflicting atrocities on Palestinians in the new State of Israel and continue to do so on a daily basis in the West Bank and Gaza.’
He was summoned to the meeting with Mr Clegg and Lib Dem chief whip Alistair Carmichael where he was told his use of the phrase was ‘unacceptable and must not be repeated’.
During the hearing Mr Ward agreed to remove the comments from his website and said he would work with the Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel to ‘agree language’ that is proportionate, according to the party.
But the Holocaust Educational Trust said the Lib Dems’ response to the ‘sickening’ comments was ‘disappointing’.
The row first blew up over a posting made by Mr Ward after signing a memorial book to mark Holocaust Memorial Day last month.
Following the disciplinary meeting Mr Carmichael sent a letter to the MP setting out the party’s actions.
He wrote: ‘At the meeting you undertook to work along with Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel and Simon Hughes MP to identify and agree language that will be proportionate and precise in your future interventions in this debate. We would also hope that this would allow you to achieve a better understanding of the legitimate concern that your comments has caused within the wider Jewish community.
‘I am not clear how much time this work will require although it will involve other people making time available to work with you and their availability is at present unknown.
‘In the circumstances, therefore, the disciplinary process currently stands adjourned and a date will require to be fixed at which progress can be reviewed and it can be concluded.’
Mr Carmichael added that Mr Clegg wanted it to be understood that the ‘party recognises your right to express your legitimately and sincerely held views’ on conditions in which Palestinians live, especially on the West Bank and in Gaza.
He added: ‘He was equally clear, however, that the language in which these views are articulated must not be generalised and indiscriminate in its nature. Liberal Democrats believe in fearless criticism where it is justified, but abhor generalised condemnation of a whole people where it is not.’
Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said: ‘This is a disappointing response to Mr Ward’s sickening and unacceptable comments which he has kept on his website.
‘He has shown no understanding of the offence he caused in both the language that he used and the timing of his comments – sadly the mishandling of this situation appears to demonstrate that Holocaust equivocation and anti-Semitism are not being taken seriously.’
Must not kill mice?
He’s never been one to shy away from controversy. And now Jeremy Clarkson has managed to rile animal activists, after he posted a photo of a huge mouse that had been flattened during rehearsals for his show, Top Gear.
The television presenter, who is currently filming his car series in Russia, posted the photo with the comment: ‘Sadly, some animals were harmed during rehearsals for Top Gear Live in Moscow.’
Clarkson, 52, posted a close up picture of the animal, which lay twisted and flattened in the road.
While some of his fans joked that the mouse could be his co-star Richard Hammond, 43, – whose nickname is the ‘Hamster’ – animal right’s charity PETA were not amused.
A spokesman said: ‘This man seems doomed to be remembered as an oaf and lout, stuck in a bully boyhood, in which it’s funny to mock the misfortunes of anyone in a slightly different form than his own.
‘His tombstone will read, “Ignorant and unfeeling, except when it came to cars”.’