A former East of England MEP has been hospitalised with the coronavirus.

Richard Howitt, who represented the eastern constituency in the European Parliament from 1999 until 2016, said he was being treated at hospital in Cambridge.

In a tweet posted on Tuesday, March 31, the former Labour politician said: “To all friends and colleagues, I’m afraid I’m one of many who has contracted Covid-19 and am currently being treated at my wonderful local hospital in Cambridge.

“I’m sorry I’ll be out of action for a while but hope to bounce back before too long. Please keep safe and well.”

He also shared an photo of himself wearing a face mask in his hospital bed.

Former shadow chancellor Ed Balls was among those wishing Mr Howitt well on the social media site.

He said: “You’ll soon be swimming in the North Sea on Boxing Day!

“Very best wishes and get well soon. Ed.”