Harrogate man forced to miss funerals hits out at Downing Street parties


Last updated Jan 11, 2022
Boris Johnson in the 10 Downing Street garden.

A Harrogate man who could only watch the funerals of his friends online has hit out at Prime Minister Boris Johnson over reports he attended a party around the same time.

Patrick Milne could not attend the funeral of a friend’s child who died with cancer at a young age or a colleague who died from an accident at home during the initial lockdown in 2020.

The UK was under strict rules at the time. People could only meet in pairs outdoors and had to stay two metres apart.

Around that time, according to a report from ITV News, the PM’s Principal Private Secretary Martin Reynolds sent out an invitation for drinks in the Number 10 garden to more than a hundred employees.

The PM Boris Johnson allegedly attended that party along with his wife Carrie Johnson.

There has been considerable coverage of the issue since the Daily Mirror claimed on November 30 that the PM and his staff broke coronavirus rules by attending parties at Number 10 in the run-up to Christmas in 2020.

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Mr Milne told the Stray Ferret:

“The numbers of people who could attend funerals were severely limited so only close family could attend. They also had to be completed in around 15 minutes.

“So it was just too much to see more evidence of these parties at Downing Street. It is even more difficult to listen to the tsunami of lies from Boris Johnson and the cabinet.

“People are angry because it is clear there was one rule for them and no rules for those in power. It’s painful to see.”

He also sent his concerns to Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones and urged him to speak out on the matter. Mr Jones has not yet responded to Mr Milne or a request for comment by the Stray Ferret.

Mr Jones said in early December that clarity was needed and called for the official report to be published as soon as possible.

Update: During an emergency debate in Parliament today, Mr Jones asked paymaster general Michael Ellis for a specific date as to when the report will be published. He was only told that it would be a “swift” investigation.

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