Woman 'sacrificed last time dad could see grandchildren' as No 10 staff joked about Christmas party
'I sacrificed the last time that my dad could see his grandchildren,' says Louisa Backway, whose father died of prostate cancer earlier this year
A woman who missed out on her father's last Christmas before he died has spoken of her anger after seeing a leaked video showing Downing Street staff joking about a Christmas party in lockdown.
ITV News revealed a recording that showed Boris Johnson's then spokesperson Allegra Stratton joking about a Christmas bash during a media briefing rehearsal.
The video, taken four days after the lockdown breach is alleged to have taken place last December, shows Ms Stratton joking that there was “definitely no social distancing” as staff laughed and made references to “cheese and wine”.
Downing Street denies that there was a Christmas party last December.
Louisa Backway, whose father died of prostate cancer after being unable to spend his last Christmas with his children and grandchildren, said she and her family are "furious" after watching the video.
Watch the leaked video of Boris Johnson's then spokesperson Allegra Stratton joking about a Downing Street Christmas party:
She told ITV News: "It's a sort of betrayal of people because you are sacrificing so much.
"And to know now that I sacrificed the last time that my dad could see his grandchildren, the last time that I could see my dad when he was well and himself, I can't get that time back."
She continued: "My dad only met his youngest granddaughter once. And to know that there were people who were having cheese and wine and nibbles and laughing about it, it just beggars belief."
Asked what she thought about Boris Johnson as the leader of the country, she said: "Well, not really a leader, not really a leader to allow that sort of thing."
After a struggle for words, she said: "I probably can't really say what I think about him right now, because I'm just, I'm just so angry, so angry. And I'm sure many people are.
"But, you know, if I could say something to him: my family made sacrifices and everyone should have been making those sacrifices and it seems to me that not everybody was."
'I'm just so angry, so angry,' Ms Backway said when asked about her thoughts on Boris Johnson
She added: "It just feels like there's a culture that doesn't respect the British public.
"It feels like, you know, one rule for them and another rule for us."
Explaining the difficult sacrifice she had to make last Christmas, Ms Backway said: "So last Christmas, we were really hoping that the family could get together because my dad, who had prostate cancer, had only seen his youngest granddaughter once during the summer when lockdown eased.
"So we were really looking forward to having Christmas together, but as December went on, we kind of realised that, you know, cases were going up, and my dad was vulnerable and we wanted to keep him and everybody around us as safe as possible.
"So we took the decision, before the official rules were introduced that we actually wouldn't see close family members for Christmas, and we would just have a quiet family Christmas, four of us at home.
"So it would was a really hard decision because you don't know at that point what the future holds.
"So I wasn't to know at that point, that that would've been the last time my dad was well and that after that, in the New Year, his cancer started to progress and he was admitted to hospital and passed away in May.
"So, you know, hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I don't think I would've changed the decision."
Ms Backway said she hopes the general public will continue to take the Covid rules seriously.
In response to ITV News' story Downing Street said: "There was no Christmas party. Covid rules have been followed at all times."