The daughter of a key worker who died from Covid said she “feels sick” over claims that a party was held in the garden of 10 Downing Street - just days after her dad Shaun’s death.
Hannah Brady, spokesperson for Covid 19 Bereaved Families for Justice, said it is “truly beyond belief” that as many as 100 people were invited to a "bring-your-own-booze" drinks event during the first Covid lockdown.
In an email revealed by ITV News, Downing Street staff were invited to "socially distanced drinks in the No 10 garden” on 20 May 2020.
It is understood that around 40 staff gathered in the garden that evening, eating picnic food and drinking, including the Prime Minister and his wife Carrie Johnson.
Boris Johnson has refused to confirm whether he was at the party, although it has been widely reported that both he and his wife were there.
The email was sent when lockdown restrictions were still in place, with people only allowed to meet one other person outside their household outdoors at the time.
‘It’s truly beyond belief’
Hannah said: "My dad died just four days before this email was sent out, he was only 55 and was a fit and healthy key worker. I’ve missed him every day since.
“Just like the rest of the country, my family had done everything we could to keep him and others safe during the lockdown.”
She added: “Those days will stay with me for the rest of my life, just like the families of the 353 people that died that day, my family couldn’t even get a hug from our friends.
“To think that whilst it was happening Boris Johnson was making the ‘most of the weather’ and throwing a party for 100 people, is truly beyond belief.”
What the email to Downing Street staff said
The email was sent by the Prime Minister’s principal private secretary Martin Reynolds to over a hundred employees in Number 10, including Boris Johnson’s advisors, speechwriters and door staff.
In the email, Mr Reynolds - a senior No 10 civil servant who has run Mr Johnson’s private office since October 2019 - said: "Hi all, after what has been an incredibly busy period we thought it would be nice to make the most of the lovely weather and have some socially distanced drinks in the No10 garden this evening.
"Please join us from 6pm and bring your own booze!"
‘It makes me feel sick to think about it’
In response to the email, Hannah said: “At the time, everyone would have known that going to a party was wrong, so how can those running the country have thought it was OK? Could there be a more disgraceful example of ‘one rule for them, and another rule for the rest of us’?
“To make matters worse, in September last year I sat in that same garden, looked the Prime Minister in the eyes and told him how my dad had died.
“He told me he had ‘done everything he could’ to protect my dad, knowing that he had partied in that same spot the very day that dad’s death certificate was signed. It makes me feel sick to think about it.”
Hannah was one of five families from the Bereaved Families for Justice campaign that met with the Prime Minister in September 2021.
The Prime Minister met with Hannah, Jo Goodman, Fran Hall, Charlie Williams and Lobby Akinnola and “thanked them for their powerful and painful accounts of how they lost their loved ones to Covid,” a release from Downing Street said at the time.
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