Annemarie Plas, the founder of NHS Clap for Carers has opted to distance herself from the movement after “abuse and threats” were aimed at her and her family.

The national applause is set to return on Thursday night at 8pm but rather than just focusing on carers the message will be widened to Clap for Heroes to acknowledge everyone who has played their part through the pandemic.

On Wednesday she tweeted to announce 'Clap for Heroes' would be returning, a tweet that has since been deleted.

But following negative reaction to the return of the applause the 36-year-old mother has said she “will no longer seek to raise further awareness of it”.

In a statement released on the Clap for Heroes Twitter page she said: "Since announcing the return of the applause yesterday, I have been targeted with personal abuse and threats against myself and my family by a hateful few on social media channels.

"Irrespective of their views and reasons for believing this is an acceptable way to behave, I did not set out to make a political statement and will not put my loved ones at risk.

"I have no political agenda, I am not employed by the Government, I do not work in PR, I am just an average mum at home trying to cope with the lockdown situation."

In March last year, people across the UK would stand on their doorsteps every Thursday evening to clap for carers.

Boris Johnson joined people across the country in thanking frontline healthcare workers who were going above and beyond to help treat victims of the coronavirus pandemic.  

Ms Plas, from the Netherlands, was inspired by similar campaigns in her home country, France and Spain when she first started the campaign back in March.