MP Breaks Down In The Commons As Covid Rules Meant His Mother-In-Law Died Alone

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  • Jim Shannon
    British politician (born 1955)
Jim Shannon, DUP MP, broke down in the Commons (Photo: BBC Parliament)
Jim Shannon, DUP MP, broke down in the Commons (Photo: BBC Parliament)

Jim Shannon struggled to hold back his tears in the Commons as MPs pressed the government over the latest allegations of a Downing Street party.

A leaked email dating back to May 2020 has suggested more than 100 people were invited to attend a drinks party in No.10′s garden.

At the time the prime minister had ordered the general public to stick to lockdown rules and meet only one person from outside their household outdoors.

These restrictions meant families who lived apart could not meet up in groups, even if someone was dying.

Around 9,960 people had been hospitalised with the virus that week.

The DUP MP for Strangford shared his emotional experience when he joined the chorus of MPs sharing their disbelief at these latest party claims in Parliament on Tuesday.

Addressing the paymaster general Michael Ellis, who was representing the government, Shannon said: “In Northern Ireland, we reached the milestone of 3,000 deaths due to Covid just last week – 3,000 people who followed the rules and grieve today.

“So will the paymaster – and putting, my mother-in-law who died alone –”

Here Shannon paused to take an unsteady breath, while the MPs around him encouraged him to continue.

He resumed: “Will the paymaster general confirm that there will be a full and complete disclosure to enable the police service to ascertain if all was done decently and within the regulations on the date and at that time?”

He then nodded to the speaker and apologised for his tears.

The paymaster general replied: “I’m very sorry for his loss, Mr Speaker.

“He is asking me if the results of the investigation will be made public. And they will be.”

MPs gathered in the Commons after the Labour Party was granted the right to ask the government an “urgent question” about the so-called “partygate”.

The prime minister did not attend but sent Ellis in his place, prompting Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner to say Johnson “could run but he could not hide” from the escalating situation.

Civil servant Sue Gray is currently leading the inquiry into all of the alleged parties at No.10, said to have taken place throughout 2020 when the UK was under various lockdown rules.

The government’s official data claimed the UK reached 150,000 deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test over the weekend.

But, the Office for National Statistics announced that actually, more than 175,000 people who have died throughout the course of the pandemic had Covid on their death certificate.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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