Downing Street Christmas gathering: 'My dad took his last breath as Number 10 staff partied'

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

This photograph captures the moment Colin Jones, 61, took his last breaths, surrounded by family wearing masks and gloves, as he died from Covid complications.

Helen Jones is pictured in full PPE holding her husband's hand, in the moments before he passed away on Friday, December 18.

On that same day Downing Street staff are reported to have been holding a Christmas Party.

Now, his daughter Tiffany has told ITV Meridian of her 'disgust' after the claims of the gathering emerged, saying those allegedly present had "danced on the graves" of the UK's thousands of Covid victims.

Helen and Colin Jones embrace as he dies on the same day Downing Street staff allegedly partied Credit: Jones family

Last night, ITV News' exclusive footage showed Number 10 staff joking as they appeared to rehearse for potential press questions about a gathering, shortly before Christmas lockdown restrictions were announced.

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, 61, had been admitted to the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth on the afternoon of Friday 11 December 2020, after falling unwell with Covid.

He died in hospital surrounded by his family on Friday 18 December - the day Downing Street was reportedly celebrating the festive season.

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

Tiffany said: "He was really happy, and chatty the week leading up to his death.

"He was laughing and making jokes with us on the phone. He was still eating and was really chatty.

She continued: "But the doctors kept moving him from one place to another in hospital, finally moving him into respiratory care.

  • 'Just own up': Tiffany Jones demands Downing Street apologises

"They phoned us at 12:30 on the Friday after he was admitted to say that he was being assessed to go into ICU and be incubated.

"But they decided he wouldn't be. So they asked us to come to the hospital and cheer him up.

"I phoned mum as I knew she was absolutely desperate to see him as they hated being apart and were always together.

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

"So we flew down the M3 to Portsmouth. When we arrived we were taken to a side area and were told by the doctors that there was no further treatment for dad - they basically just let him go.

"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."We never expected Covid would be the thing to take him out. We always thought he would die in his seventies because of other health complications, but never thought he'd die at 61."

Following the death of her father, Tiffany launched a petition on which is calling for a national memorial for all those who have died from the virus.

It reads: "My dad Colin Reginald Jones wasn't a statistic. He isn't a number. He's my dad."

So far the online petition has more than 131,000 signatures - and Tiffany says she won't stop the fight.

She said: "The Government needs to learn from their horrendous mistakes, because Covid is not going away."