Daughter of nurse who died of Covid calls on Boris Johnson to resign over Downing St lockdown party

Julie Edward
Julie Edward worked as a nurse on the frontline during the height of the pandemic

The daughter of a nurse who died after testing positive for Covid on the same month Downing Street staff are accusing of holding a party is calling on Boris Johnson to resign.

Ashley Mapani-Muyuya says the Prime Minister should step down after ITV News exclusively revealed a leaked email invite to an outdoor drinks in Number 10's garden at the height of the first lockdown.

Her mother, Julie Edward, worked at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading after training to become a nurse in her 50s.

She died in May 2020, after testing positive for coronavirus - the same month the prime minister and his wife Carrie allegedly attended the party.

Julie is one of dozens of frontline NHS workers across the south of England who died during the pandemic.

Mr Johnson has so far refused to comment on the allegations, claiming an investigation into Downing Street lockdown breaches prevents him from doing so.

Speaking exclusively to ITV Meridian, Julie's daughter Ashley Mapani-Muyuya, said she was unable to attend her mother's funeral in the UK because of the Covid travel restrictions in place at the time.

  • Ashley Mapani-Muyuya tells ITV News Meridian the PM should resign:

Ashley who lives in Portugal, said the PM should resign if the allegations about the party are true.

She said: "Having people like my mother sacrifice their lives, putting their own health at risk to care for others, and then learning the lawmakers who are supposed to be taking this health crisis seriously and guiding the rest of the nation, have the audacity to ignore the protocols in place, risking other people's lives - I am appalled.

Ashley added: "They were reckless and irresponsible, knowing the gravity of the situation.

"The best they could do was forget all of that and have fun?

"There is no excuse they can give, in my opinion, that could explain that behaviour.

"If the allegations are true, and the Prime Minister has any shred of remorse, he should resign from his position, because he has let the people down.

Julie Edward died in May 2020 after contracting Covid.

Speaking about her mother's funeral, Ashley added, "We had to watch it on YouTube because we couldn't travel.

"I couldn't attend my own mother's funeral while they were partying. It's inexcusable."

Speaking about her mother's frontline role, Ashley described the extreme pressure she was under within the NHS.

"There was a lot of pressure, up until the point she became unwell. She didn't have time to rest, she had to work all the time.

"Things were really bad within the NHS, because they were inundated with patients.

"I can't understand how the Prime Minister could actually behave this way. How could anybody behave this recklessly, knowing what was going on.

  • Julie's daughter told ITV News Meridian she never had the chance to bury her own mother:

The PM's official spokesman said he would not comment on the parties saga while Sue Gray's investigation was ongoing.

He said: "I can't comment on the reports and claims, including those we've seen today.

"It wouldn't be appropriate to do so, I appreciate that may be a significant number of questions, but that remains our position.

"I think what everyone wants to do is establish the facts through this independent review and for those facts to be set out clearly once that work is concluded."