'Disgusted': Tearful response of bereaved woman who lost mum to COVID over No 10 'Xmas party'

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Watch: Bereaved woman ‘disgusted’ at leaked government Christmas party claims

A bereaved woman broke down on television after she was shown leaked footage of government aides joking about a Downing Street Christmas party last year.

The prime minister’s then press secretary Allegra Stratton and adviser Ed Oldfield, along with other aides, were filmed laughing as the rehearsed for a press conference about a “fictional” party in December 2020.

The fallout saw a humbled Boris Johnson appear in front of MPs at Prime Ministers Questions on Wednesday afternoon. He said he had ordered an investigation into claims Downing Street staff broke lockdown rules and told MPs he was “furious” about the leaked footage.

But he insisted he had been repeatedly assured “there was no party and that no COVID rules were broken”.

Speaking to Sky News (in the video above) Lindsay Jackson, a member of COVID-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, lost her mother to the disease and said she was “disgusted” by the clip.

She told Sky News: “I'm so angry on so many levels, I can't really begin to gather my thoughts…

Boris Johnson is under pressure to explain an alleged Christmas party held while much of England was under COVID restrictions. (Getty)
Boris Johnson is under pressure to explain an alleged Christmas party held while much of England was under COVID restrictions. (Getty)

“It’s hard to put in words. My mother was wonderful and she was taken from me before she needed to be because of the mismanagement of the public health crisis and I will never forgive Boris Johnson for that.”

Jackson added: “They set the rules for the British people and within hours they're breaking them themselves. The rules don't apply to them…

“The rules and the laws apply to everyone, no one is above the law and Boris Johnson needs to be taught a lesson that the law apply to him and his staff just as they do to me.”

Dr Saleyha Ahsan, another member of the COVID-19 Bereaved Families for Justice group, said the latest Downing Street Christmas party development was a “bullet to the chest” of families who have lost loved ones during the pandemic.

She told BBC Breakfast the saga was “an example of how the government have run this from the start: One rule for them and the rest of us have to adhere to different rules.”

Ahsan, who said she had been working in north Wales at the time of the mock press conference, said: “Numerous people around the country couldn’t spend those precious last few days, hours, minutes with loved ones. It was heartbreaking. In 14 years in the NHS I’ve never seen anything like it.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2020/12/18: A 'Very High Alert' sign aside the Street in Central London.
The capital has been moved into Tier 3, the highest level of restrictions, as coronavirus cases surge. (Photo by Vuk Valcic/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
The alleged party took place when London was in Tier 3 restrictions last December. (Getty)

“And this latest revelation is just a bullet to the chest, it really is.

“It just demonstrates the lack of regard for the rest of us.”

Meanwhile, an NHS England staffer said she is “incandescent” with anger at the video.

The frontline healthcare worker told the PA news agency she was working with COVID patients the same month as the alleged party took place, when her mother was admitted to her hospital following a fall.

Due to health protocols the staffer was unable to visit her mother, who caught COVID in the hospital and later died from bacterial pneumonia.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives a thumbs-up gesture as he attends the switch on of the Christmas tree lights outside 10 Downing Street in London on December 1, 2021. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Downing Street has insisted there was no Christmas party and coronavirus rules had been followed at all times. (Getty)

The staffer said: “To say I’m angry… I’m incandescent. It’s the disrespect, it’s the one rule for us and another rule for them, that’s what’s the worst.

“I see Allegra Stratton laughing up there and I feel sick, I feel disrespected, (like) I’ve been taken for a mug.

“I can’t put enough words together right now as to how appalling that behaviour is. It should have consequences.”

Downing Street insisted on Tuesday there was no Christmas party and coronavirus rules had been followed at all times.

The PM said he had asked cabinet secretary Simon Case “to establish all the facts and to report back as soon as possible – and it goes without saying that if those rules were broken then there will be disciplinary action for all those involved”.

Watch: Starmer urges PM to 'be honest' about Tory Christmas party

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