Craig Mackinlay: Standing ovation for MP who had hands and feet amputated as he returns to parliament

22 May 2024, 11:11 | Updated: 22 May 2024, 12:59

An MP who had both his hands and feet amputated after contracting sepsis has been welcomed back to the House of Commons with a standing ovation.

Craig Mackinlay was greeted by Speaker of the House Sir Lindsay Hoyle with a hug as he returned to parliament just eight months after being rushed to hospital with sepsis then placed in an induced coma and given a 5% chance of survival.

As the Conservative MP for South Thanet entered the Commons chamber, MPs from all parties stood up and clapped as Mr Mackinlay became a bit emotional.

Sir Lindsay said: "We don't allow clapping, but this is an exception."

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer crossed over to shake his hand before Prime Minister's Questions began, where he revealed he had met with Mr Mackinlay and his wife in the morning to welcome him back.

Rishi Sunak started off PMQs by paying tribute to the "incredible resilience" of his fellow Tory.

Mr Mackinlay stood up in the Commons to request the early recognition of sepsis is embedded in the NHS and for "appropriate prosthetics" at the right time.

He said it had been "an emotional day for me" and jokingly apologised for breaking "so many rules" in the Commons, with the clapping and having to wear trainers because his shoes would not go over his prosthetic feet, and not wearing a jacket because it would not go over his arms.

Mr Mackinlay thanked the prime minister for supporting him throughout his ordeal but "hasn't advertised it", and also the Speaker who he joked looked like a funeral director when coming to visit him in hospital.

The MP revealed the NHS staff, including the two surgeons who amputated his hands and feet, were in the Commons' gallery, along with his family who he said he could not have survived without.

"In the public gallery are many of the staff from the NHS who took me from where I was close to death," he said to more applause from MPs.

"They took me from close to death to where I am today. So thank you for that. I'm not entirely sure I'm happy that the two surgeons who took off everything of mine are here."

Mr Mackinlay, who has a young daughter, has said he wants to be known as the "bionic MP" to visiting children after being fitted with prosthetic hands and legs.

He said he is determined to fight the next general election to continue to serve his Kent constituency and will campaign to raise awareness of sepsis.