Downing Street has condemned “absolutely appalling” abuse directed by online trolls towards Captain Sir Tom Moore.
Piers Morgan also rounded on trolls on Tuesday morning, calling them “vermin” for attacking Captain Tom, who raised more than £30m for NHS charities by walking in his garden during the pandemic.
Trolls have criticised Captain Tom for taking a holiday to Barbados in December – a gift given to his family by those grateful for his fundraising heroics.
Asked to comment on the abuse, Stratton said: “Absolutely appalling. The prime minister is thinking of Captain Tom very, very frequently at the moment and his family and deeply wishing, as the whole country is, that Captain Tom makes a recovery as quickly as possible.”
Speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Morgan said earlier: “I watched yesterday. Twitter has already descended into a total sewer, over Marcus Rashford and other Black footballers in this country, racial abuse spewing out from this anonymous cretins on Twitter, and then I see them turn on Captain Sir Tom Moore.
“I see them abusing him and mocking him, a man who served his country in World War II, a man who helped save this country from the Nazis, a man who, aged 99, raised £39m for the NHS”
“A perfectly legal trip to Barbados, trip of a lifetime, to give him a break, he had been offered a free trip, we have no idea if it had anything to do with his subsequent illness.”
The veteran was taken to hospital on Sunday after being treated for pneumonia for some time and testing positive for coronavirus the week before last.
The Archbishop of Canterbury said he is praying for Captain Tom, who is in Bedford Hospital.
The Second World War veteran’s family had confirmed his illness on Sunday, releasing a statement on Twitter that said he had needed additional help with his breathing and was being treated on a ward but not in ICU.
A spokesman for Captain Sir Tom’s family told the BBC that he had not yet received a Covid-19 vaccine because of the medication he has been taking for pneumonia.
Captain Tom raised more than £32m for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday during the first national lockdown last April.
He set out to raise £1,000 with his charity challenge but his efforts struck a chord with the nation, and praise and donations flooded in.
In acknowledgement of his efforts, he was knighted by the Queen in a unique open-air ceremony at Windsor Castle in summer 2020.