It‘s time to stop ‘Clapping for Carers', says the woman who started the Thursday night ritual but fears it has become politicised

Annemarie Plas, a Dutch yoga teacher, who lives in South London, said she had been 'overwhelmed' by the reaction to her idea - (Copyright PA)
22:51pm, Fri 22 May 2020
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The woman who started the weekly 'Clap for Carers' movement has said next week's show of support should be the last as she fears the 8pm Thursday ritual is becoming politicised.

Annemarie Plas, a Dutch yoga teacher,  who lives in South London, said she had  been 'overwhelmed' by the reaction to her idea, but said it was better to stop when it was at 'its peak'.

Now in its ninth week, the event has seen people across the country take to their doorsteps and balconies to show their appreciation for the efforts of those working on the frontline during the coronavirus pandemic.  

While huge numbers have taken part, some have considered the gesture patronising, while others have suggested it is being used 'as a weapon' to spark a row about pay and working conditions.

Ms Plas admitted today she empathised with some of the views being aired and so called for the event to come to an end.

She told the PA news agency: "I think it's good to have the last of the series next Thursday, because to have the most impact I think it is good to stop it at its peak.

"Without getting too political, I share some of the opinions that some people have about it becoming politicised.

"I think the narrative is starting to change and I don't want the clap to be negative.'

However, the event has not been without its controversies. Hundreds of people including police and emergency workers, and even Met chief Cressida Dick, were criticised last month after they were seen ignoring social distancing rules to take part in the event on Westminster Bridge.  

Mother-of-one Ms Plas said: “A clap is something normal people can do, showing our appreciation. But the power is not with us. We can give them respect but we are not signing the cheque - that falls on another desk.

“But we will stop and show our support in other ways - there are other initiatives we can support.”

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