Katie Hopkins has built a career on brash utterances and “saying what everyone else is thinking”. However the former reality TV star turned professional contrarian and HuffPost blogger has issued a rare apology after cracking a joke on Twitter about life expectancy in Scotland following the fatal helicopter crash on the banks of the Clyde in Glasgow.

Hopkins took to the micro-blogging site on Saturday to pen the following offering: "Life expectancy in Scotland based 07/08 birth is 59.5. Goodness me. That lot will do anything to avoid working until retirement."

Unsurprisingly, the tweet sparked outrage, with fellow Twitter users initiating a campaign to have her banned from the television, where she has built up a substantial profile on shows such as This Morning.

Writing on Monday, Hopkins said her tweet was related “directly” to an NHS report, adding: "I apologise to those I offended. It was poor timing".

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Earlier this year, a 30ft effigy of Hopkins was burned at the Edenbridge bonfire in Kent. The figure, with the words ''Speak before you think'' written on the front, was stuffed with oil-soaked newspapers, packed with fireworks and torched after bonfire society members nominated the former Apprentice contestant for her views on children's names.

She also caused a stir on This Morning when she said names including Chantelle, Charmaine, Chardonnay and Tyler were lower class.