Downing Street staff at alleged Christmas party 'danced on graves' of Covid victims

Beryl (pictured with her daughter Jackie Green) and Colin Jones (pictured with his wife Helen) both died on the same day a Downing Street Christmas party allegedly happened. Credit: UGC

A daughter could not be by her mother's bedside as she died in hospital and a woman lost her father on the same day a Downing Street Christmas party allegedly happened.

These are just two of hundreds of bereaved people who have responded in disgust and horror as Downing Street staff were seen in a video leaked to ITV News laughing about a Christmas party in last December's lockdown.

The video, taken four days after the lockdown breach is alleged to have taken place, shows Boris Johnson's then spokesperson Allegra Stratton joking that there was “definitely no social distancing” as staff laughed and made references to “cheese and wine”.

Downing Street denies there was a Christmas party last December.

Jackie Green with her mother Beryl Credit: UGC

Jackie Green's mother died on the same day as the alleged celebrations without family with her because she was following the rules.

She told ITV News: "To think of her in hospital on her own, it's just devastating to me."

Jackie Green's mother died without family by her hospital bed because she was following the rules. That same day, Downing Street staff allegedly gathered for a Christmas party.

Responding to the leaked video, she said: "Words fail me really, at the insensitivity of it, insensitivity to all the people, not just people who have lost loved ones but all the people who have made sacrifices."

Helen Jones embraces her husband, Colin, as he dies from Covid complications on Friday, December 18. Credit: Tiffany Jones

The above photograph shows Colin Jones, 61, with his wife Helen in the moments before he died from Covid-19 complications on the same day of the alleged Number 10 party.

His daughter Tiffany told ITV Meridian of her "disgust" upon watching the leaked recording, saying those allegedly present had "danced on the graves" of the UK's thousands of Covid victims.

'It's horrific': Colin Jones' daughter Tiffany describes losing her dad

Tiffany Jones said: "To discover the government were having a party when the country was in the biggest crisis of this time makes a complete mockery of the thousands of families who have lost loved ones."I'm totally disgusted by their behaviour and just can't believe what happened."

Colin Jones, pictured with his wife Helen Credit: Tiffany Jones

Tiffany recalled her father's last moments at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth on December 11, 2020: "He kept saying 'I'll be fine' and 'I love you' and 'I'm going to fight this' and if he was able to he was the sort of person who would have discharged himself.

"I was with my dad as he died. We were told CPAP was the only thing keeping him alive and we were asked to remove the mask to let him go peacefully.

"My mother was breaking her heart sobbing, begging for him to stay, begging them to help, she had to be carried from the room.

"My sister and I stayed. We held my dad as he died. Told him we loved him, that it was ok, that we'd look after mum."

'They think it's funny to not be social distancing and having a large gathering...while we were grieving and spending our first Christmas without Charlie', Julie tells ITV Central

Julie Goodwin, from Manfield in Nottinghamshire, was not able to see her dying husband in hospital last Christmas because of the Covid-19 restrictions.

She described the leaked footage as "absolutely appalling".

Ms Goodwin said: "They think it's funny to not be social distancing and having a large gathering when we couldn't have nothing and had to go by the rules, while we were grieving and spending our first Christmas without Charlie on our own."

'How many more times are (the government) going to make a mockery out of the public?' Angela, who missed her mother's last Christmas, says

Angela Dawn's mother died in a care home in Coventry last year after restrictions meant her family couldn't be by her side.

She said if she knew that people in a position of power were flouting the rules she wouldn't have missed her mother's last Christmas.

She also wants leaders to take more responsibility and described the situation as a "complete shambles", before asking "how many more times are they going to make a mockery out of the public?"

Fran Hall and her husband Steve. Credit: UGC

Fran Hall, from Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, lost her husband Steve to Covid after he contracted the virus in September 2020.

He died the day before his 66th birthday and just three weeks after couple got married.

She said she and others in the group are "sickened and disgusted" by the video that has emerged.

She said: "To me, this feels very much like government by gaslighting."

'This feels like government by gaslighting,' says Fran Hall, who lost her husband to Covid-19

Reacting to the prime minister's apology on Wednesday, she said: "I don't know, we don't know, whether he actually believes there was no party or no gathering.

"But the very least that the prime minister of this country can do is tell the truth and I don't think anyone believes that he is telling the truth."

She also questioned the need for an internal investigation: "I'm mystified how somebody needs to have an internal investigation into something that happened in the house where they live.

"He lives in 10 Downing Street. The gathering, whatever it was, whether it was defined as a party or not, whatever happened on that night, took place in the house that he lives.

"Why does he need an internal investigation? Surely, he is aware whether there was a gathering there or not."

'We are sickened and disgusted,' says Fran Hall from Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice

Louisa Backway, whose father died of prostrate cancer after being unable to spend his last Christmas with his children and grandchildren, said she and her family are "furious".

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."

'I sacrificed the last time that my dad could see his grandchildren,' says Louisa Backway, whose father died of prostate cancer earlier this year

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."

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."

Louisa Backway's father Credit: UGC

In Sheffield, Mike McCarthy, whose son Ross took his own life in February, now wonders whether the outcome might have been different if he had broken the rules by seeing his son when there were restrictions in place.

Mike McCarthy's son Ross died during a national lockdown in February 2021.

He said: "We couldn't get to see him because of Covid restrictions and it worried me because we knew that he was having problems with his mental wellbeing. But we tried to stick to the rules.

"But I look back now and wonder whether we would've been better off maybe not sticking to the rules as closely as we did because maybe we would've seen a bit more of Ross."

Jayne Taylor-Broadbent, who lost her wife Julie in last year's lockdown, saying her reaction to the leaked video was of "utter right disgust at our government, how they've treated not only me but the majority of this country's population".

Many other bereaved families took to social media to express their anger and upset.

Bereaved family members who lost loved ones to coronavirus have reacted with anger and upset to the leaked footage.

On Twitter, Sue Dando said: "My Mum spent last Christmas on her own while my Dad was in hospital with Covid, he didn’t last till New Year.

"She couldn’t say goodbye to him and I couldn’t hug her at his funeral because of Covid rules. All while the government partied."

Elaine Ramsay replied in support of the Tweet.

"I am so sorry for your loss. My Mum went into care in November, due to C19 rules I couldn't 'settle her in'", she wrote.

"I felt like I'd abandoned her. No visits at Xmas, so we both spent it alone. Her last Christmas. She died in April. This partying sickens me to the pit of my stomach."