'It cannot be let go': Families share stories of loss while No10 'partied'

8 December 2021, 21:23 | Updated: 8 December 2021, 21:49

By Daisy Stephens

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Bereaved families have shared their heartbreaking stories of losing loved ones throughout the pandemic, and how the allegations about a Downing Street Christmas party has made them feel.

Jackie, whose mum died of Covid on December 18 - the day the alleged party took place - said the Government's behaviour was "reprehensible".

She recalled being told her mum had coronavirus after coming into contact with someone with the virus whilst in hospital.

"Obviously I was very worried at this point, I spoke to mum really trying not to sound worried or alarm her... but she was extremely worried and just kept saying to me 'I don't want to die'," said Jackie.

"And then three days later I got the call on the 18 December to say that she'd passed away, on her own and frightened."

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"It was incredible difficult because she was very lonely... incredibly lonely."

She said: "I was absolutely appalled that members of the Government could laugh and joke about a party when people were losing their loved ones."

She said she couldn't "express [her feelings] into words, but said: "It was totally reprehensible behaviour... this can't be let go.

"It really cannot be let go.

"It's a serious breach of public trust and public confidence and if the Government are allowed to get away with this it would be an absolute scandal."

Louise called into LBC and told James O'Brien her 14-year-old son died of leukemia in May 2020 when the country was in lockdown, and explained how the coronavirus restrictions at the time made a tragic situation all the more difficult to deal with.

"A horrendous situation was made ten times worse," she said.

"His younger brother wasn't allowed to see him, our family weren't allowed to see him, his funeral was ten people, we still haven't been able to organise anything after that because everything has just been so uncertain.

"Last Christmas was obviously our first Christmas without him, we weren't able to see any family, we weren't able to see any friends."

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She said: "We were prepared to do all of that and we were prepared to go through all of that because that was what was required.

"And that that was what was required to protect other people."

She said the alleged party in Downing Street was "unbelievable" and blamed the "culture" within the Government.

"Everything is just about not what is right but what they can get away with," she said.

"If they can squirm out of it on a technicality, they will do... everything they do has no consequence."

She added: "There are no 'resigning' matters anymore."

Rob Kelleher's dad was admitted to hospital with Covid-19 on the day of the alleged party, and died on January 15.

"He went in on 18 December and he never, ever came out," recalled Rob.

He said he was unable to visit his dad in his last weeks, or visit his mum to look after her.

"We were all distraught and I actually live in Norfolk so I couldn't go up to even see my mum," he said.

"Not being able to go and see him, not being able to go and see my mum, and then subsequently we had the funeral where we couldn't cuddle each other or even invite everyone that we'd want to invite."

He said he heard stories of parties being held throughout the January lockdown.

"As we were grieving it was making us angry that people were being so stupid," he said.

"So we were angry about these stories and then we find out now that the Government was complicit in all this, and they were having their parties."

He said: "I just feel so lost and angry."

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Bridget called into LBC from Pool Crematorium, where she was attending a ceremony for her father-in-law.

She told James she believed he had died because of pandemic-induced delays to the treatment for his leukemia.

"It is beyond me that the elite that run this country are laughing at us and the sacrifices we've made," she said.

"It feels like it's this Etonian, divine right to rule, they are better than us, the rules don't apply to them."

Boris Johnson has started an investigation after days of fury.

He has maintained that any event took place within the guidance.