North East families share heartbreaking Covid losses in wake of Sue Gray report

North East voters have shared their heartbreaking experiences of losing loved ones during pandemic restrictions, as a report into lockdown-breaking parties at Downing Street is revealed in full.

Friday, 27th May 2022, 12:36 pm

Details of the inquiry, by senior civil servant Sue Gray, were made public on Wednesday, May 25 following the conclusion of a Met Police investigation into the so-called ‘Partygate’ scandal last week.

Both opposition MPs and ministers from Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s own Conservative Party are making fresh calls for him to resign as a result.

A number of revelations were made in the report including; a karaoke machine being brought in for a gathering, staff members partying on the eve of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral and “multiple examples of a lack of respect and poor treatment” of security and cleaning staff.

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Upon the report's publication, campaign group Covid-19 Bereaved Families For Justice said “millions will never forgive them for the disrespect they’ve shown” in a statement which detailed the heartbreak felt by grief-stricken families across the country.

It said: "There we have it. Whilst the country had one of the highest death rates in the world from Covid-19, they were celebrating over cheese and wine and drinking themselves sick over a karaoke machine.”

Members of the North East’s electorate have also had their say on the PM’s future, with many reinforcing calls from across the political spectrum for him to resign.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street on May 26. Picture: Leon Neal/Getty Images.

Readers also shared their own experiences of losing a loved one during the pandemic, and how restrictions in place at the time affected them.

Meanwhile, some argued that people elsewhere also broke lockdown rules and that other issues – including the cost-of-living crisis and ongoing conflict in Ukraine – should remain at the Government’s focus.

Here’s what you had to say in the wake of the Sue Gray report on Wednesday:

David Fox: “We should hold them all to account.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds a press conference in response to the publication of the Sue Gray report. Picture: Leon Neal - WPA Pool /Getty Images.

Jim McGregor: “True acceptance of responsibility would be resignation.”

Keith Cockburn: “All true that I laid my beloved wife to rest with only 20 people her closest friends or family - our own Queen abided by the rules - sad - very sad.”

Katrina Robson: “It was two years ago! They worked together! Hands up who didn't test the rules? More things to worry about now, like how many deaths will we see because people can't afford to live?”

Karen McKenzie: “When we buried my dad we were told no more that six people at his funeral, the Government is a joke.”

Lynn Dobson: “Totally agree it's absolutely disgusting and shows what they think of the general public.”

Val Robson: “We are approaching World War Three, the Ukrainian war, and a recession not seen in years. The past is that – PAST. Time to move forward.”

Vivienne Wilson: “I for one will never forgive or forget, I missed the last five months of my dad’s life because we couldn’t visit in hospital, we only allowed 20 at funeral.”

Lisa Ann Johnson: “We all need to stand strong, do not allow this to just be brushed under the carpet.”

Sheila Smiles: “While our Queen sits alone on her husband’s funeral, they need to hang their heads in shame.”

Joan Todd: “Sick of hearing about it, no one else broke the rules?”

Jane Webb: “We couldn't visit my mother as she was dying in hospital and so few able to attend her funeral. Can never forgive [them].”

Peter Smith: “People died alone while the Government had literal parties!”

Lady-Kathy P Douglass: “He thought it was only right to have a leaving do for people leaving their jobs in Downing Street while people could not visit their dying relatives at their ‘leaving do’.”

Kevin Bolton: “Move on for God's sake the majority are not bothered in the slightest.”

Janet Kerr: “Time for him to resign or be forced out. No more excuses.”