Eamonn Holmes has apologised after he received a huge backlash on social media for calling Chief Constable Ian Hopkins "PC Plod" in wake of Monday night's terror attack in Manchester. The 57-year-old presenter took to Twitter to express his sadness over the horrific incident in the early hours of Tuesday morning as news was unravelling. He told his fans: "19 people dead - probably kids killed four and a half hours ago and PC Plod of Greater Manchester Police adds no narrative to what happened."
STORY: Public raises thousands for Manchester's homeless hero Chris Parker
His followers were quick to criticise the comment, with one writing: "He chose worst possible time to engage in petty name calling to boost his social media profile 'Chief PC Plod" lots of folk seem to agree!" Another remarked: "What! 20 people dead. Investigation - early stages. Police & others risk their lives. U said "PC plod adds no narrative" Insensitive!" One tweet read: "How inconsiderate of 'Chief PC Plod' to provide leadership, support& guidance at time of great crisis instead of updating the news!" [sic]
Following the backlash, Eamonn deleted his tweet and told his followers that he didn't intentionally mean to cause offence. "If that is the case then I apologise," he said. "Don't enter into a debate about Tweets about Tweets. I am not the enemy here. To all offended - Sorry. No bigger supporter of The Police than me... Too many people making emotionally wrong interpretations - maybe myself included. Families first."
STORY: The Queen pays tribute to victims of Manchester terror attack
The attack left 22 people were killed following Ariana Grande's concert at Manchester Arena, while a further 59 people were injured. Ariana's team issued a short, heartfelt statement following the incident, which occurred just minutes after the singer had finished her show. It read: "Tonight, our hearts are broken. We mourn the lives of children and loved one taken by this cowardly act. We are thankful for the selfless service tonight of Manchester's first responders… We ask all of you to hold the victims, their families, and all those affected in your hearts and prayers."