Barbara Windsor's husband blasts Boris Johnson for 'breaking' his dementia help vow

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LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 02: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson has a cup of tea with television actress Dame Barbara Windsor during a meeting in London on September 2, 2019 in London, England. Barbara Windsor, who suffers from Alzheimers, met with the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street to discuss dementia care. (Photo by Simon Dawson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Dame Barbara Windsor and Boris Johnson at 10 Downing Street, 3 September, 2019. (Simon Dawson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Dame Barbara Windsor’s widower has criticised Boris Johnson for a drop in dementia care funding, accusing him of betraying a vow he made to the EastEnders star.

Windsor and her husband Scott Mitchell had met with the prime minister in 2019, when he had promised to “do my best for you” as he received an open letter from her on behalf of the Alzheimer’s Society.

But, according to the Alzheimer’s Research UK, dementia funding has nearly halved in the last three years. Windsor died in December.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 02: Television actor Barbara Windsor and her husband Scott Mitchell pose with a placard in front of Downing Street ahead of a meeting with Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London on September 2, 2019 in London, England. Barbara Windsor, who suffers from Alzheimers, met with the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street to discuss dementia care. (Photo by Simon Dawson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Scott Mitchell and Windsor deliver a letter to Downing Street. (Simon Dawson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Her grieving husband Mitchell told the Sunday Mirror: “It’s disappointing to see the government is not doing more for people affected, despite the promises he made to me and Barbara in 2019.

“While I fully understand the government has had to prioritise dealing with the pandemic – and my heart goes out to every person affected by the virus – we cannot lose sight of the need to find life-changing treatments for people affected by dementia.

“While we knew nothing could be done to save Barbara from this cruel condition, we were passionate about making sure action would be taken to save other families from the heartbreak it causes. I worry we are moving backwards, rather than forwards.”

After Johnson’s meeting with Windsor, the government pledged an extra £83 million a year for dementia research over the next decade.

Watch: Dame Barbara Windsor laid to rest in London

But Alzheimer’s Research UK has said that in 2018-19, funding fell to £27.7 million from £49 million the previous year, and then dropped to £22 million last year.

Mitchell, who has raised £160,000 for Alzheimer’s Research UK since his wife’s death, is now urging people to sign the charity’s petition calling on the government to make good on its funding promise.

Windsor was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014, but did not go public with her diagnosis until 2018.

She passed away on December 10.

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