SIR – I don’t always bother to read the online comments about me on the Worcester News website, they are normally rude, insulting or totally irrelevant to the issue being discussed, usually from people hiding behind anonymity. 

What does amaze me, but it really shouldn’t, is people feel compelled to write personal comments about my weight.

It’s as if being overweight means my opinions and views are somehow not relevant.

I have never counted them, but I would say roughly half of all comments are about my physical appearance, basically fat shaming.

Being a politician means you do have to grow a thick skin, it comes with the job, but we are still all human, we bleed and hurt in the same way as others do.

It’s easy to be critical but it is less easy to understand why a person is overweight, it is not always because they are lazy, eat more or fail to exercise; sometimes, quite often, other underlying issues are involved.

I know I am overweight, I know I am unfit and I know the reasons why, they are not excuses, but I have been battling against them for most of my adult life.

My weight does not change the devotion I have for my job, the opinions I hold or the political decisions I make.

I would hope what I do and what I say will determine how people will view my work as a councillor, not just what I look like. 

Richard Udall

City and County Councillor