Bereaved families hold Barnard Castle vigil ahead of Dominic Cummings Covid inquiry appearance

Families have held a vigil outside Barnard Castle for loved ones who died from Coronavirus. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Bereaved families have held a vigil outside Barnard Castle for loved ones who died from coronavirus.

The vigil has been scheduled to take place the day before Dominic Cummings appears at the national Covid inquiry.

The former chief advisor to Boris Johnson infamously travelled from London to stay with family in Durham when his wife contracted coronavirus in March 2020.

He then infamously drove to Barnard Castle after she recovered to "test his eyesight" for the drive back to the capital.

A message was projected onto the side of Barnard Castle. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The vigil was organised by the campaign group 38 Degrees and the message "31,332 Covid deaths – is that clear enough to read?" was projected onto the walls of Barnard Castle on Monday.

Deborah Doyle lost her mum Sylvia to the virus and said the vigil was to continue to maintain public awareness of the issue.

"What we want to do is remind Mr Cummings of how upset we are about the deaths of our loved ones and how everyone in this country made sacrifices," she told ITV Tyne Tees.

"We can still keep the public aware of what went on and what went wrong because ultimately is what we are trying to do is save lives in the future."

Deborah Doyle lost her mum Sylvia to coronavirus. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Responding to the vigil, a Government spokesperson said: "Throughout the pandemic, the government acted to save lives and livelihoods, prevent the NHS being overwhelmed and deliver a world-leading vaccine rollout which protected the nation.

"We have always said there are lessons to be learnt from the pandemic and we are committed to learning from the Covid Inquiry’s findings which will play a key role in informing the government’s planning and preparations for the future."

Mr Cummings was discussed at the inquiry on Monday and his trip to Durham came up as notebooks from former chief scientific advisor Sir Patrick Vallance said the Barnard Castle trip had clearly gone against the rules.

Mr Cummings will have his opportunity to present his side of the story at the inquiry on Tuesday.

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