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Basildon Mayor sorry for Armed Forces Day phone gaffe

By LukeJacobs  |  Posted: July 01, 2013

Basildon Mayor Mo Larkin was seen using her phone during the ceremony. Picture: pnj_gardening/Twitter

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The Mayor of Basildon has apologised after she was seen using her Apple iPhone during the town's Armed Forces Day celebrations on Saturday.

UPDATE: Police investigate degrading cartoon lampooning Basildon mayor

Pitsea South East Cllr Mo Larkin was spotted by an onlooker tapping on the device while the military salute was taking place at the end of the event outside the Basildon Centre.

Twitter user Paul Green, who took the picture, described it as "absolutely disgusting".

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But Cllr Larkin, who lives in Billericay, today said she was actually trying to turn the phone off, but admitted she should have switched it off before the ceremony.

She said the police were contacting her at the time to tell her her partner, Paul Handley, had passed out while driving on the motorway.

He is suffering from the effects of a "tropical disease" picked up on a holiday in Barbados. The pair returned just last week.

"I would like to apologise unreservedly for appearing to be on my phone during the ceremony to mark armed forces day on Saturday," Cllr Larkin said.

"I put my phone in my hand and turned it round because I couldn't see it because the sun was in my eyes

"While I accept it is no excuse I was distracted at the time by the news that my partner had just been rushed to hospital while I was on duty."

Dr Handley was taken to Southend Hospital but discharged later that day having taken the necessary medication. He is now resting at home.

Cllr Larkin added that her partner had been a lieutenant commander in the Navy during the Falklands.

"I was brought up with the Army, and I wouldn't show that sort of disrespect," she added.

"I always have had, and continue to have, only the highest respect and regard for the men and women of our armed forces and the outstanding job they do."

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  • mrslangtryno1  |  July 01 2013, 11:01PM

    oh dear, I see my original comments were removed. Somebody clearly doesn't like the truth. The truth is, this is yet another vicious hate campaign backed by the leftwing loonies who hang out on Facebook and Twitter. After its initial posting it was seized upon by the Basildon leftwing mafia who have milked it for all it's worth. The facts are clearly stated in the story above. However I find it odd how the hyenas have not circled around the LibDem and Labour councillors who didn't even bother to turn up, nor the other officials who were clearly on their mobiles. The mayor has made it clear she turned hers off. I was there and didn't even notice this incident but then, I wasn't standing there with a camera, ready to collect material with which to discredit somebody. You people who complained need to get over yourselves. My money is on the whingers being made up half of internet trolls who are seriously underemployed, leftwing loonies and opposition councillors with a personal grouse. Just grow a pair and stop hiding behind anonymous emails and social network postings.

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  • mrslangtryno1  |  July 01 2013, 6:41PM

    Paul Green ‏@pnj_gardening 11 Apr One side of a story is never enough for people to ostracise a person. Try getting both sides and the surrounding facts. Expand Reply Retweet Favorite More Taken from Paul Green's Twitter page on 11th April this year.... try taking your own advice mate before leaping into action accusing others. You did not give this lady chance to give her own side of the story before pillorying her. This lady is a patriot and I see from the tone of your page that you are also a patriot. I also see from your page on October 24th that you were driving illegally. So you are in no position to be calling others.

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