The Guardian has apologised and deleted a section of its own editorial column on David Cameron’s new memoirs after it described the death of the former Prime Minister’s son as “privileged pain”.
The leader column, published online last night, said the ex-Tory leader had experienced the “better functioning and better funded parts” of the NHS in caring for his severely disabled son Ivan who died in 2009, aged six.
The column, which represents the view of the paper, attacked Cameron over his policies regarding the health service while in office.
It said: “Had he been forced to wrestle with the understaffed and overmanaged hospitals of much of England, or had he been trying to get the system to look after a dying parent rather than a dying child, he might have understood a little of the damage that his policies have done.”
Chancellor Sajid Javid joined others in criticising the Guardian on Twitter. He said it was a “shameful thing to read”, adding: “Never has an editorial so lacked in empathy, while so righteously criticising others for lacking it.”
The Guardian has since amended the article. In a statement the paper said: “The original version of this editorial posted online fell far short of our standards. It has now been amended, and we apologise completely.”
Cameron has written about the death of his son in his new memoirs, For The Record, excerpts of which have been published in the Times.
He said the “happy memories are now at the front of my mind” regarding his young son’s ill health, but added: “If I think for too long, I also remember the seizures.
“He could have 20 or 30 in a day, lasting for minutes, or sometimes hours, his small frame racked with spasms and what looked like searing pain.
“By the end his clothes would be drenched in sweat and his poor little body exhausted. And so often there was nothing we could do.
“It was a torture that I can hardly bear to remember.”
Picture: Reuters Richard Brian