MP touched by support after tragedy

Norfolk MP Richard Bacon last night thanked constituents and friends for the “countless” messages of support he and wife Victoria have received following the horrific accident that crushed three generations of her family.

Norfolk MP Richard Bacon last night thanked constituents and friends for the “countless” messages of support he and wife Victoria have received following the horrific accident that crushed three generations of her family.

He said the couple had been overwhelmed by the offers of support they had received and were being kept going by their new son Rollo, who was born on Monday.

Victoria's mother Elizabeth Panton, 65, died shortly after being crushed by the number 209 bus in Mortlake, south west London, at 9.40am on Wednesday.

She had been visiting the new baby and was about to return home to Shropshire when she was hit along with Victoria's twin sister Sarah Hope and her two-year-old daughter Pollyanna.

Mr Bacon last night confirmed that, despite a long fight by surgeons, Pollyanna had lost her leg below the knee but was now in a stable condition.

Mrs Hope, who had originally been taken to Charing Cross Hospital, has now been transferred to the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital to be near her daughter. She has sustained tissue damage but no broken bones.

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The move will stop her husband, Daily Telegraph political journalist Christopher Hope, having to rush between the two sites. Both Mrs Hope and Pollyanna are expected to remain in hospital for a number of weeks.

In a cruel twist of fate, Pollyanna was being rushed to the Chelsea and Westminster at the same time as Mr and Mrs Bacon were leaving to take Rollo home for the first time.

Speaking to the EDP from the hospital yesterday, South Norfolk MP Mr Bacon said: “Pollyanna has lost her foot and has got some broken bones but the important thing is she's alive and things are moving in the right direction.

“We saw Sarah last night and she was together and lucid but very distressed about her mother and Pollyanna. She's a lot more reassured now she knows Pollyanna will be alright.

“Victoria is holding up well. She's been very touched by the number of messages we've had.”

Condolences for the family continued to pour in yesterday. North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb said: “My heartfelt condolences and sympathy goes out to them. Nothing you can say can really do much in these circumstances. It's just quite horrifying.”

Chris Stubbs, secretary at the Shropshire golf club where Mrs Panton regularly played, said: “Elizabeth was a well-respected member and known to many of our friends and our deepest sympathies go out to the family.”

Last night, a spokesman for the Metropolitan police said the 42-year-old bus driver, who had been arrested shortly after the collision, had been bailed to return in June.