'I was shouting at the telly' - Hartlepool widow's response to No 10 booze gathering

A grieving wife has said she feels “robbed” after her family couldn’t spend time with her ill husband or visit him in hospital during his last months in 2020.

Thursday, 13th January 2022, 5:50 pm

June Gate, 68, has said she was “shouting at the telly” when she first heard reports about an alleged party at Downing Street during the first lockdown in May 2020.

During that time, her late husband, John Gate, was in hospital and the couple could not see each other on their 48th wedding anniversary on May 20, 2020 – the day the No 10 gathering took place.

John was first admitted in hospital in March with heart failure and pneumonia.

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Boris Johnson making his January 12 apology.

June could not visit him, with restrictions in the following months meaning their grandchildren could not spend time with him either.

During his stay in hospital, John also suffered a stroke and lost his sight.

It made FaceTime impossible and he couldn’t see his grandchildren waving at him from the window when he was moved to Alice House Hospice in July.

John, 68, died on July 20 at the hospice, with June and their sons John, 47, and Paul, 45, by his side.

John Gate passed away in July 2020 when he was 68.

June said: “I’m so, so angry. We have a big family and they couldn’t see him. We lost four months of our lives coming to the end of John dying because we couldn’t see him.

"He didn’t celebrate Father’s Day, my birthday."

She continued: “It’s upsetting. There’s a pain in your chest thinking ‘When you were all partying and we couldn’t even go and visit in hospital.’

"We do feel they robbed of the precious time, because he was terrified of dying when I could’ve been there with him.”

The Prime Minister has apologised, saying he believed the “bring your own booze” gathering was a “work event” and admitted regret over the way it was handled.

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June, from the Throston Grange area of Hartlepool, said: "He should go. They all knew they were breaking the rules,”

"He apologised, but he did not mean it. He didn’t have apology on his face.”

June and John, who used to work at SCA UK, had eight grandchildren and a great-grandson.

Remembering John, June added: "He was always laughing. When the kids were coming at the back door, he was always there to greet them.”

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