Is this uncomfortable? A Tory MP representing constituents in Southend has found herself at the centre of a fierce debate this week. Anna Firth was accused of visiting Archie Battersbee – legally brain dead at the time – for a photo op. But the boy’s family aren’t so cynical.
Right or wrong? Anna Firth’s photo with Archie Battersbee prompts outrage
The picture, taken at the start of June, shows Firth stood by Archie Battersbee’s hospital bed. She can be see holding a Union Jack, and a ‘Jubilee Certificate’ celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s 70-year reign. Critics, however, have blasted the politician for her alleged ‘inappropriate behaviour’.
Tory MP chastised online – but boy’s family sing her praises
The 12-year-old suffered a catastrophic brain injury in April 2022, and his parents have fought a bitter legal battle to keep his life support switched on. Sadly, a decision was made to end Archie’s life on Saturday.
The desperately sad situation has made international headlines, and Firth now finds herself on the receiving end of a backlash as a result of her visit. However, the family of Archie Battersbee see things differently. In fact, they have been full of praise for the Tory MP.
- Hollie Dance, mother of Archie, gave a glowing review of Anna Firth to local media
“What a lovely visit from Southend’s MP Anna Firth. Genuinely interested in Archie’s condition and day-to-day care. She even had a little chat to him along with her chaperone Richard. Anna brought Archie a Jubilee certificate and flag so he doesn’t miss out on the celebrations.” | Hollie Dance, 2 June 2022
Tory MP shares emotional tribute to Archie Battersbee
The public may disagree with Firth’s conduct, but it seems she enjoyed a good relationship with the parents and family of Archie Battersbee. Earlier on Sunday, the Tory MP led the tributes to the deceased, hailing him as a ‘fantastic and talented boy’.
“The whole community has come together in Southend, to pay tribute to Archie Battersbee They have supported him. They recognise what a fantastic and talented boy he was. Archie was a fantastic gymnast. He loved his martial arts, and was full of energy.” | Anna Firth