Brothers ordered not to comfort their crying mother at funeral in Milton Keynes

  • Watch a video report by ITV Anglia's Elodie Harper

Milton Keynes council has apologised after two brothers were ordered not to comfort their crying mother at the funeral of their father.

A video of the service at Crownhill Crematorium was shared online after brothers, Craig and Paul Bicknell felt angry at the way they had been treated on what was, they say, 'the worst day of their lives'.

The video shows the brothers instinctively move their chairs closer to their mother to comfort her at the socially-distanced funeral.

The brothers have been sharing a home with their mother since the death of their father, Alan Wright two weeks ago to be part of her support bubble.

Alan Wright Credit: Family photo

As the three family members sit together, an official from the council approaches them and tells them to separate and that they must all remain two metres apart. Paul Bicknell said:

Alan Wright and son, Paul Credit: Family photo

Milton Keynes council has issued an apology and admitted the brothers should not have been reprimanded.

A spokesperson for the council said in a statement: 'We are sorry to have upset this family.

"We don't usually step in if a guest needs to be comforted by another family member and in this instance should have taken a more considered approach.

"We ask funeral directors to let us know whether any chairs should be grouped in advance, and from now on this includes guests who are in the same household or bubbles, as well as people who need extra support."

Current government guidelines allow for up to 30 people to attend a funeral but that social distancing must be 'strictly adhered to'.

Craig Bicknell said he is glad to see the council change their stance to include people from the same household to comfort each other.

He said: "We know this is the new way of living and that there are new rules we all have to adhere to but you can't just sit back and watch when someone you love is breaking down. "We have to learn to live with this new reality but it was hard to make sense of the rules when we knew we could sit next to our Mum in a restaurant or in a limousine on the way to the funeral. It needed to change."