The night the Cambs Times ‘stormed’ 10 Downing Street with 5,300 tweets in an hour demanding #mesh public inquiry
PUBLISHED: 11:31 21 November 2017 | UPDATED: 16:21 21 November 2017
Cambs Times reporter Kath Sansom described last night’s Twitter ‘storming’ of 10 Downing Street as “the beginning of the end” in the bid to get a public inquiry into surgical procedures involving mesh implants.
Her #slingthemesh campaign has highlighted the plight of hundreds of women – and many men- who have suffered agonising pain and horrendous complications following what they were assured were routine procedures.
Last night the campaign took a defiant stance towards getting the Government to order an inquiry by encouraging supporters from across the UK and overseas to take part in a 60 minute ‘tweet fest’ to bombard Prime Minister Theresa May with demands for an inquiry and suspension of mesh operations.
The initiative was planned ahead of today’s first meeting of an all-party Parliamentary group of MPs at Westminster that will hear from Ms Sansom at first hand of the growing evidence in support of a public inquiry into these procedures.
Last night from 6-7pm more than 5,300 tweets (and retweets) were posted on Twitter all directed to the Prime Minister’s @Number10 Twitter account.
Journalist Harry Rutter who compiled the statistics said: “We finished with a peak of over 200 unique tweets every 5 minutes.
“We also got five hashtags in the Top 40 global twitter trends, this includes: #SlingTheMesh, #Mesh, #10downingstreet, #Pelvic and #Vaginal. “
He said: “#SlingTheMesh was the 10th most trending hash tag in the UK between 5.40pm and 7.40pm on the night of the rally.
“Southampton, UK took the lead as 11 per cent of all tweets came from them, shortly followed by Belfast with 9 per cent of tweets and London in third place with 4 per cent of all tweets.”
There were also numerous tweets from Sweden – where a mesh campaign group has been pressing for a similar suspension – and from Virginia Beach, Washington, Boston, North Carolina, and Philadelphia in the USA where law suits have begun.
Supporters from Ontario, Canada, also joined in with a barrage of tweets as too did supporters in Australia.
Ms Sansom said: “Wow, look at what we have all achieved together. We trended on twitter globally. This is incredible.”
In a Facebook live message to supporters afterwards she said: “A lot of you have never used Twitter before yet you went out and learnt how to do it. High five to all of us.
“Together we got #Slingthemesh to trend. Just amazing.
“No words. I hope you are buzzing as much as I am.”
She promised: “We will kick this mesh mess out of the water and stop other women suffering as we have done.
“It is the beginning of the end.”
Editor John Elworthy said: “Without doubt it was one of the most remarkable moments of my career. To watch, in real time, events unfold was astonishing.”
He said the paper had been supporting the campaign for more than two years and now believed the Government must recognise not only the evidence of many within the medical profession that something is amiss “but they must surely sit up and take note of hundreds of individuals who have now testified to the pain and suffering being caused.”
The campaign focuses mainly on women injured by mesh implants used to treat incontinence, prolapse, rectopexy, hysteropexy. However the group supports men injured by hernia mesh.