A WORCESTER woman whose 98-year-old grandmother died with dementia in a Staffordshire care home during the first lockdown has slammed the ‘Bring Your Own Booze’ Downing Street party revelations.
Teresa Green was one of just 10 family members to attend the funeral of her grandmother Connie on May 21, 2020 in accordance with the Covid restrictions in force at the time.
Less than 24 hours earlier, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s principal private secretary Martin Reynolds e-mailed more than 100 staff to invite them to ‘make the most of the lovely weather’ and bring their own booze to a gathering in the Downing Street garden.
That’s despite then Culture Secretary and now Conservative Party chairman Oliver Dowden appearing on TV less than an hour before the alleged party to reiterate the rules at the time of meeting just one person from a different household outdoors.
Speaking to the Observer, Teresa said she had been angered by the revelations and accused those involved of ‘fishing for excuses’.
“As a family, we’ve always believed in doing the right thing and the first lockdown in 2020 was no different,” she said.
“We went for a daily walk, kept shopping trips to a minimum and delivered care packages for Worcester Foodbank and Worcester Community Trust (WCT).”
Much-loved Connie was confined to her room in a care home in Staffordshire as the virus threatened to envelop vulnerable older people.
After her death, Teresa said she was relieved to learn up to 10 mourners would be welcomed at Lichfield Crematorium and said the family kept their distance on the day both inside and outside the venue, joining many thousands who tribute to loved ones in this muted way.
“Now we learn, one day before Connie’s funeral on May 21, there was a party in the garden of Number 10 Downing Street, a supposed reward for people who ‘worked hard’.” Teresa said.
“What about frontline NHS workers, supermarket and public transport staff who had to endure abuse from those refusing to wear masks, and volunteers at organisations like the foodbank and WCT?
“They – and us – stuck to the rules and put their lives on their line while others partied and are now fishing for excuses for why they did.
“I’m left to wonder if a UK government has ever shown such a total lack of respect and empathy,” she added.
Number 10 said it would not be commenting on the allegations while Sue Gray, a senior civil servant, carries out her inquiry into numerous allegations of rule-breaking events being held in Downing Street during the pandemic.