Katie Hopkins is a regular on programmes such as This Morning and the wright Stuff (ITV)
Katie Hopkins is a regular on programmes such as This Morning and the wright Stuff (ITV)

An online petition calling for Katie Hopkins to be banned from all television in the wake of her joke about Scottish life expectancy has attracted more than 75,000 signatures.

The former Apprentice star and Sun columnist caused outrage after she sent a tweet that joked about the life expectancy of Scottish people a day after the Glasgow helicopter crash at the Clutha Vaults pub, in which nine people died.

The tweet said: "Life expectancy in Scotland based 07/08 birth is 59.5. Goodness me. That lot will do anything to avoid working until retirement."

She has since apologised but a petition was set up demanding that she be banned from television. Robbie Crossan, from Glasgow, who drew up the petition, described Hopkins as "nothing more than an attention seeker who does not deserve to be a celebrity".

"Scotland was still in shock and trying to come to terms with a horrible crash that took the lives of innocent people. Within 24 hours of this happening Katie Hopkins posted vile remarks on Twitter about how long the people of Scotland live for.

"This is unacceptable and distressing to those who lost friends and family.

"We the undersigned are sick and tired of ITV and Channel 5 giving her airtime and want her banned from all TV shows on your channels such as This Morning and The Wright Stuff."

The petition has gained more than 75,000 signatures. Signatory Meg Hill said: "This woman is vile and offensive and shouldn't be given airtime. At the very, very least she should be made to apologise to the people of Scotland for her disgusting, insensitive remarks."

A second signer, Gary Caldwell, added: "Everyone has the right to an opinion, however when a public figure uses Twitter they should be held responsible for their comments.

"Some people have no shame."

Hopkins later explained she did not intend to make a link between life expectancy and the crash helicopter crash in Glasgow and was merely referencing a report published on the Scottish Public Health Observatory website.

She told BBC WM's Breakfast Show with Pete Morgan: "We'd just done a week on The Wright Stuff and independence was a massive issue. I sat down on Saturday and someone sent me a Yes campaign document from Scotland, and it was talking about the disparities in health.

"I said to my husband 'Can you believe that? ... Healthy life expectancy for a boy born in 2010 is just 59.5 years. So I put that out on Twitter and of course, that coincided with a terrible tragedy, and I have apologised for the very poor timing of that tweet, which then felt very horribly directed at entirely the wrong people."