'Deeply offensive': tearful daughter of Covid victim calls for Johnson to go

12 April 2022, 15:34 | Updated: 13 April 2022, 11:31

By Patrick Grafton-Green

The tearful daughter of a man who died from Covid has slammed Boris Johnson's "deeply offensive" behaviour after he was fined for breaking lockdown rules.

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Mr Johnson and his wife Carrie, as well as Chancellor Rishi Sunak, have been given fixed penalty notices over parties held during the height of Covid.

Downing Street later revealed the PM was fined for attending a birthday party thrown for him on June 19, 2020.

Safia Ngah, of Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, told LBC's Tonight with Andrew Pierce: "It defies logic and it is deeply, deeply offensive.

READ MORE: PM, Carrie and Chancellor hit with fines for lockdown-busting party breaches

READ MORE: Boris says sorry and pays Partygate fine but insists he won't quit

"It's not just me and my family, there were tens of thousands of people across the country who couldn't be with their loved ones when they died."

Asked about Mr Johnson's subsequent apology, she added he has "has failed to show that he can be a leader in times of difficulty again and again and again and the rational decision surely is to let him go".

"This is a man who made the rules, he should be aware of what those rules are or someone should tell him before he goes into that room," she said.

"This was a global pandemic and these were life saving measures, it is beyond belief that he couldn't understand that."

Another spokesperson for the group, Lobby Akinnola, added that Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak "took us all for mugs" and should be "gone by tonight".

"There is simply no way either the Prime Minister or Chancellor can continue," he said.

"Their dishonesty has caused untold hurt to the bereaved.

"Not only that, but they have lost all credibility with the wider public, which could cost lives if new variants mean restrictions are needed in the future.

"If they had any decency they would be gone by tonight."

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer was one of many opposition MPs to call for the pair to resign.

He declared they had "broken the law and repeatedly lied to the British public".

"The Conservatives are totally unfit to govern. Britain deserves better," he added.

Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the SNP have called for Parliament to be recalled so Mr Johnson can face MPs.

Scottish and Welsh first ministers Nicola Sturgeon and Mark Drakeford joined Sir Keir in calling for the Prime Minister and Mr Sunak to go.

Ms Sturgeon said this was in the interest of "basic values of integrity and decency - essential to the proper working of any parliamentary democracy".

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries defended the PM, claiming he has "been clear about what happened on 19th June 2020 & offered a full apology".

"It was a brief gathering in the Cabinet Room, less than 10 minutes during a busy working day," she said.

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross and Conservative MP Sir Roger Gale, both of whom have previously led calls for Mr Johnson's resignation over partygate, said now is not the time for him to leave his position.

Sir Roger said the situation was "very serious" and "the Prime Minister has effectively misled the House of Commons" but added: "We are in the middle of an international crisis and I am not prepared to give Vladimir Putin the comfort of thinking that we are about to unseat the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and destabilise the coalition against Putin."

"Any reaction to this is going to have to wait until we have dealt with the main crisis which is Ukraine and the Donbas," he insisted.

He said he did not want to "destabilise the Government with a leadership election when we're in the middle of an international crisis".

Mr Ross called Mr Johnson's behaviour "unacceptable" and said "the public are rightly furious".

But he added: "In the middle of war in Europe, when Vladimir Putin is committing war crimes and the UK is Ukraine's biggest ally, as President (Volodymyr) Zelensky said at the weekend, it wouldn't be right to remove the Prime Minister at this time.

"It would destabilise the UK Government when we need to be united in the face of Russian aggression and the murdering of innocent Ukrainians."

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the Prime Minister is not "fit for office".

He wrote on Twitter: "Families made huge sacrifices and obeyed the law. Many said their last goodbyes to loved ones on the phone while the Prime Minister partied."

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey tweeted: "This is a government in crisis neglecting a country in crisis.

"Parliament must be recalled for a vote of No Confidence in the Prime Minister."

Former Tory MPs Rory Stewart and Ruth Davidson also said he should resign.

Mr Stewart wrote: "The key point is not that Boris Johnson received a penalty notice.

"The key point is that the fine proves he has repeatedly lied to parliament about his actions during Covid.

"Democracy requires - for voting for accountability - leaders who tell the truth."

Ms Davidson said the PM "introduced liberty-curtailing rules for public health reasons" which "caused huge hardship for those separated from ill or dying loved ones".

"He then broke the rules he imposed on the country & lost the moral authority to lead," she added.

Shadow foreign secretary and LBC presenter David Lammy said there is "criminality and lies at the heart of government" as he insisted Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak should "lose their jobs".

A number of celebrities also took to social media to express their views.

Presenter and singer Rylan Clark-Neal pointed out "he's officially broke the law. That's it ain't it", while presenter Gary Lineker called the news "truly astounding", adding "lying does catch up with you in the end".

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