South Thanet MP returns to Parliament following sepsis battle and limb amputation

Craig Mackinlay MP returns to Parliament (parliament tv)

South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay has returned to Parliament today (May 22) after having his arms up to the elbows and legs up to the knees amputated due to an extreme case of septic shock.

The dad-of-one received a standing ovation from colleagues as he attended Parliament for PMQs. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he was “in awe of (Mr Mackinlay’s) incredible resilience” while Labour leader Keir Starmer paid tribute to his “courage and determination” and “deep sense of service.”

Parliament TV

The 57-year-old went into septic shock on September 28 last year and, in an interview with GB News yesterday, spoke of how the sepsis caused his organs to fail and, as blood clots formed, his limbs turned black.

Initially taken to Medway Maritime Hospital at the insistence of wife Kati, he was given just a five per cent chance of survival after his condition worsened dramatically and his body went blue from the shock.

In October Mr Mackinlay was moved to St Thomas Hospital in London and on December 1 he had an operation to remove all four limbs.

Speaking to GB News the MP said the limbs were “almost leather, like plastic” as he described “the complete death of my hands and also my feet.”

At Medway Maritime Hospital a do not resuscitate order had been discussed for the father-of-one.

He told GB News: “The price I am going to pay for living is serious disability but we will get over it.”

He added: “The Grim Reaper let me survive but he has taken payment in four limbs, that’s the way it is.”

The sepsis also caused tissue damage to Mr Mackinlay’s gums, face and ear which, he says, will require plastic surgery in the future.

After Christmas Mr Mackinlay was moved to a surgical ward that specialises in limb loss and by the end of January artificial legs had been cast.

Craig with daughter Olivia

In February he left the ward under his own steam, using the prosthetic legs and a frame.

The artificial arms from the NHS are, however, very basic and the MP will now  pay some £100,000 for ‘bionic’ prosthetics through a private company.

Parliament TV

Mr Mackinlay says he will stand at the next General Election and will aim to raise awareness of sepsis and wants to improve the NHS service to better help multi-limb loss people, saying he considers it his ‘crusade.’.

Craig was supported in the House of Commons’ public gallery by his family and a dozen NHS staff who cared for him at St Thomas’ Hospital and Lambeth Community Care Centre.

After the Chamber session, Mr Mackinlay said: “ As I said in the Chamber, this was a very emotional day for me. I’ve been working throughout much of my treatment but returned to Parliament for the first time today.

“I will work with Ministers from the Prime Minister down, as well as the Sepsis health and charity sectors, to raise awareness of the signs of Sepsis and help improve access to quality prosthetic limbs on the NHS.

“After my near-death experience and quadruple amputations I consider this a crusade.”

North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale said: “My South Thanet neighbour has shown the greatest possible personal and political courage and it was so good to see his family in the Gallery to witness his return.”

Labour Parliamentary candidate for the new East Thanet constituency Polly Billington said: “I want to extend my heartfelt sympathy to Craig Mackinlay in light of his continued recovery from Sepsis.

“I know Craig is a battler and he has proved it by his survival of this awful ordeal. It serves as a poignant reminder of the indiscriminate nature of health challenges and Craig’s journey underscores the critical role our National Health Service plays in saving lives.

“I commend the tireless efforts of the NHS staff who have played a crucial role in Craig’s treatment, helping him navigate this difficult time. Their dedication, expertise and compassion have undoubtedly contributed to his journey so far.

“His family have gone through an awful ordeal and my heart goes out to his wife Kati and their young daughter.

“Following Craig’s announcement that he is putting himself forward as the Conservative candidate for East Thanet in the upcoming General Election, I want to send my best wishes to Craig and his family. I look forward to the campaign, where we can present our plans for the area and the UK to the people of Thanet.”

County Councillor Karen Constantine, whorepresents Ramsgate, said: “Craig and I have been adversaries for almost a decade, usually disagreeing, often ferociously so, but he has my admiration for his remarkable recovery. I wish him and his family the best.”

Sepsis Trust

According to the UK Sepsis Trust, five people are killed by sepsis every hour in the UK, making it one of the country’s biggest killers.

It arises when the body’s response to an infection injures its own tissues and organs. The body’s immune system – which normally helps to protect us and fight infection – goes into overdrive. It can lead to shock, multiple organ failure and sometimes death, especially if not recognised early and treated promptly.

Sepsis primarily affects very young children and older adults, and is also more common in people with underlying health conditions, but it can sometimes be triggered in those who are otherwise fit and healthy.

Sepsis always starts with an infection. It is not known why some people develop sepsis in response to common infections whereas others don’t.

Visit the Sepsis Trust website to see how to spot the signs of sepsis at:


  1. I suspected he was super-human when he successfully fought off Nigel Farage a few years back. Now he really is! Love him or hate him, coming back from such a horrific illness should be an inspiration to us all. He is to me.

    • Peter – well put. I think many a person might not have the resilience and mental capacity to recover from the trauma. I wish him well

  2. Even I,as a Labour supporter can only pass on my best wishes.In a snowflake,work shy,everybody else’s fault World its so inspirational to see someone overcome against all odds. A Great British trait that seems to be missing these days.

  3. Wishing you all the best Craig, for your ongoing recovery. Sepsis is shocking and frightening and you will be an inspiration to many people. Keep going.

    I agree, politics is utterly irrelevant in times as these.

    • Not when he has consistently voted to punish disabled people further by wanting to cut their money & support. Just how many have his party killed since 2010 with their attitude to the poor/disabled? Now we are supposed to feel sorry for him, while Sunak pushes him out to deflect questions over the various scandals?

      He is rich & not hanging on by a thread like those he voted to push further into poverty, while voting for tax breaks for his parties rich pals/donors. How many Sepsis sufferers relying on the NHS the Tories have spent 14 years destroying brick by brick do you think can drop 100k on bionic limbs?

      • What a horrible insult to all the decent working class people who voted Conservative. At least (unlike the last Labour government) they haven’t caused death and destruction in the Middle East (based on a lie!) And to those of you who keep parroting “fourteen years” etc; Blame Labour for being unelectable for 14 years!

        • Working class people who voted Conservative? Slugs 4 Salt? Turkeys for Christmas.

      • Ditto that GB News Anchor! I will still not vote for him, despite his horrific injuries, which will make little difference to his extreme right wing opinions. He invited several NHS staff to the House of Commons, who will have had to return to work having just suffered a pay cut, and dreadful working conditions!

      • Totally agree- what has happened to him is terrible and he has been through a hell of a lot. His illness or courage does not make him a good MP, sadly. His voting record is terrible-

        Consistently voted against stronger fire safety measures

        Consistently voted against landlords paying for the costs of building safety works

        Voted against equal gay rights

        Consistently voted against laws to promote equality and human rights

        Almost always voted against paying higher benefits over longer periods for those unable to work due to illness or disability

        Consistently voted against improving air quality

        & Loads more. Genuinely not a good person, he also denied racism exists in Thanet and doesn’t even live here, so why anyone would vote him in again is absolutely beyond me!

  4. Of course we all can all only imagine what Craig and his family have been through, are currently dealing with and how challenging the future may be for them.

    We must all bear in mind our shared humanity at all times

    It’ll be interesting to watch the next stage of this man’s political journey after this horrendous episode in his life

    Windows shine light in….

  5. Im not of his politics but I would not wish sepsis on my worst enemy. Respect to Craig McKinley and Roger Gale for their support for Manston Airport. I wish Mr McKinley all the best on the long road ahead.

  6. Just remember-this man personally, like most of his party has voted to punish disabled people consistently over the last decade. Of course unlike them he will never have to worry where his next meal is coming from, or whether he will be made homeless by his governments attitude.

    As per they work for you-

    Craig Mackinlay almost always voted against paying higher benefits over longer periods for those unable to work due to illness or disability.

    On 18 May 2022: Craig Mackinlay voted not to express support for a series of policy proposals put forward by the leader of the Scottish National Party Ian Blackford MP. The policies in question were: protecting workers’ rights, doing more in respect of the cost of living and climate change; increasing benefits; imposing windfall taxes; retaining existing EU derived law and retaining the existing Human Rights Act.

    On 8 Jun 2016: Craig Mackinlay voted for reductions in benefits for disabled and ill claimants required to participate in activities intended to increase their chances of obtaining work.

    On 2 Mar 2016: Craig Mackinlay voted against making the removal of the work-related activity component from employment and support allowance conditional on an impact assessment and against requiring Parliament to approve details of implementing the change.

    • Oh for goodness sake this man has come through a lot! By the way instead of having a stupid pseudonym publish your real name or are you too much of a coward to do so!

    • Just remember this man personally has gone back to work despite his new found disabilities after less than 8 months. Whatever you think of his politics he should be an inspiration to many (not all) disabled people that choose to rely on benefits. We all know that there are people out there that could work but choose not to. However much you don’t want to admit it.

      • And we all know that there are plenty of people, despite dreadful disabilities, still hold down a full time job.
        However much you don’t want to admit it.


        • How about saying something nice about Craig’s bravery? Or is that beneath the likes of you, George, Phyllis, M&M, etc?

          • Indeed,if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing. Some will say anything to get themselves noticed for all the worst reasons.

    • We’ll soon see if this has helped him develop more compassion and insight then. I’m probably naive for hoping this means there’s now someone potentially influential speaking on behalf of disabled people in parliament. Poor bloke though – don’t agree with his politics or voting record on anything other than live exports but like others have said – this is a devastating thing to happen to any human and you wouldn’t wish it on your worst enemy.

  7. I’m glad you raised his voting record

    Perhaps he’ll develop more of a sense of empathy now that he’s severely disabled himself

  8. I would not wish what he has gone through on anyone, however I will doubt he will get many sympathy votes, and his new found empathy with disabled people is dubious at best, a decent human being able bodied or not should always have that, should they not. He’s still a tory to, so wish him well but NOT MY MP OR PARTY.

    • That’s right; he’s not YOUR MP, he’s THE MP! A position he holds because thousands of working class people voted for him to be their representative.

    • If you live in the South Thanet area Steve, we should know if he’s still your MP by July 5th.

      • He will be, and so will Roger. Labour need far stronger candidates than Polly and Helen to win in Thanet. I hope Rosie stays MP in Canterbury though, someone from the left who actually studied biology!

        • I’m not so sure about that. I think Labour will sweep up in the new South Thanet ward. Labour have, in my opinion, a less than 50/50 chance of getting North Thanet. Their choice of candidate doesn’t help there and Gale has a hard core of support.

          • Not now that Craig is seen as some sort of returning hero. Certainly what he’s overcome will – quite rightly – gain him many admirers.

          • Check the polls, Labour is ahead of the Tories in Sandwich and Herne Bay. Roger Gale is set to be ousted and not before time!

          • Brexit was going to fail and Trump was never going to be elected according to the polls.

            Believe me, very few people in the villages will vote for Helen, particularly if she admits to an anti-airport bias.

      • All MPs cease to be MPs when parliament is dissolved on Friday, 24th May NOT 5th July.

        • Kingsgate Resident. Parliament will be dissolved on 30th of this month, 25 working days before the election. NOT on election day, 4th July. By the end of the following day (5th July) most of the results will be known.

  9. Gutsy man who has suffered horribly and has a lifelong battle ahead that he seems to be up for. I wish him well on a personal level.
    Timing of this does seem to be somewhat cynical given that the election has just been announced.

  10. Surely , the derelict West Cliff Hall needs discussion on this thread ,Kathy , especially as the Saint Craig expose was usurped due to correct journalist precedence , upsetting Craigettes

  11. Firstly, heartfelt sympathies to Mr Mackinlay and his family after their dreadful ordeal. He seems an honest and decent man, whatever his politics. But I’m sure he’d be the last to claim he is a hero or inspiration. After all, thousands of our brave soldiers have returned limbless from various wars having fought for their country, and largely been regarded as inconvenient embarrassments by their governments.
    He would surely be keen to retain his seat on his political record, which to me includes supporting successive tory leaders systematically draining the NHS of the necessary funding to keep up with inflation and an ageing population, and rendering the life saving treatment he received unlikely for most of the rest of us. Should anyone wish to vote for him out of pity, that’s up to them. But they’d best not tell any pre- election focus groups, in case there’s a rush of other tory MPs losing fingers hoping for a sympathy vote while extracting their expenses from the public till while they still can.

  12. Craig Mackinlay has displayed courage and determination in overcoming his illness. I wish him and his family well.

    However, it must not be forgotten that as an able-bodied Tory MP he was never a powerful advocate for the residents of South Thanet. Therefore it is extremely doubtful he will be the best parliamentary representative for the new constituency of East Thanet. Labour represents change, bring it on!

    • We really need change for this part of Kent. We cannot just let it continue the way it has under the Tories any longer, surely!! The deprivation and dereliction of duty by the two MP’s for Thanet have been despicable.
      Mackinlay will be all full of himself now and even worse with his despise for the disabled as he tells them if he can do it so can they, without a thought about what illness or disability they actually do have. The Tories also had a disability minister who used a wheelchair with the same attitude, if they can do it then so must all the others !

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