Kirstie Allsopp is facing backlash after defending parents who leave their children at home without supervision.
The debate was sparked after Kirstie, 45, commented on a discussion about the parents of Madeleine McCann, who went missing from a hotel room in Portugal in May 2007 while her parents dined in a nearby restaurant.
‘What the McCanns did is perfectly normal all over the world, and people that abuse and castigate grieving parents should be utterly ashamed,’ she wrote in a tweet.
Although she has since deleted her original post, the conversation has raged on in Kirstie’s timeline, and she’s reinforced her comments in the following discussions, saying she believes that many parents have left their children unattended in similar circumstances.
‘I’ve always thought that they did nothing wrong and it’s important to say it,’ she wrote in a tweet to comedian Dara O’Brien, who advised her to steer clear of the topic when her tweet first appeared.
‘We cannot live every moment in fear of the tiny, tiny number of evil freaks that sadly exist, parenting has become too fearful,’ she continued.
‘For years Mums & Dads have popped next door to have a cuppa with a neighbour when the kids were in bed or even gone to the pub on the corner.
‘What I find staggering is the number of people who think that they could never make the wrong choice, because I know I have, often.’
After being challenged by several of her followers, she added: ‘As a parent I fear addiction to drugs, drink & porn, obesity, mental health problems linked to social media & anxiety and a decline in compassion far more than stranger danger. Statistically this is sensible, far more chance of lifestyle cancer than abduction.’
Kirstie, who has two sons, Bay and Oscar, and two elder stepchildren, Hal and Orion, also replied to many of the tweets questioning her statements with fierce conviction of her opinion.
One follower asked her ‘are you for real?! An accident can happen in seconds! Children should always be supervised, I wonder if SS should look at u’, to which she responded: ‘Yes, an accident, like falling out of a tree or off your bike or off a wall. It’s called exploring and it’s totally healthy.’
‘It’s not about whether I’ve left/wld leave babes alone, it’s whether I’d be so quick to judge & condemn those that have #empathy #compassion.’