Downing Street party: MP unable to see husband will 'never forgive' PM

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Mary and Ray GlindonImage source, Mary Glindon
Image caption,
Labour's North Tyneside MP Mary Glindon and her late husband Ray

An MP says she will "never" forgive Boris Johnson after hearing about an alleged festive party, held while she was unable to see her late husband.

Mary Glindon's partner Ray died earlier this year after a five-year battle with cancer and had spent much of last Christmas in hospital in Newcastle.

The North Tyneside Labour MP was unable to visit him due to lockdown rules.

Boris Johnson has maintained there was no such party at Downing Street and "no Covid rules were broken".

It comes as his former press secretary Allegra Stratton resigned, after a video was leaked to ITV News showing staff joking about a party, believed to have been held on 18 December.

Mr Johnson has since ordered an investigation but maintained he was "repeatedly assured" there was no party.

Image source, EPA
Image caption,
Boris Johnson has denied any party took place in Downing Street last Christmas

'Didn't give a toss'

Mrs Glindon, elected in 2010, said the government had shown "contempt" for families who had suffered and sacrificed under Covid-19 rules in order to protect others.

Her late husband, a veteran former Labour councillor, died in April aged 74. He was also apart from his wife on their 20th wedding anniversary on 30 December, after being readmitted to the Freeman Hospital.

"I feel so aggrieved, like so many other people," she said.

"We have suffered a lot of hardship and the government didn't give a toss about it. I will never, ever, ever forgive him [the prime minister]."

The 64-year-old said it was "heartbreaking" to be apart from her ill husband and many constituents had reported similar sad stories, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

"It was so difficult having to follow those rules, there is such anxiety when someone you love is ill and you can't see them.

"To think that the government would not even give a second thought to those people… I feel let down.

"We did the right thing and they didn't. It was a great personal sacrifice from everybody, it was pre-vaccine for most people and we wanted to keep hospital staff and other people safe."

Media caption,

Watch: Video obtained by ITV News shows Downing Street staff joking about a No 10 Christmas party during a mock press conference

At Prime Minister's Questions earlier, Mr Johnson apologised "unreservedly" for offence caused by the leaked footage.

He said he had asked Cabinet Secretary Simon Case "to establish all the facts and to report back as soon as possible".

"I apologise unreservedly for the offence that it has caused up and down the country and I apologise for the impression that it gives.

"But I repeat that I have been repeatedly assured since these allegations emerged that there was no party and that no Covid rules were broken, and that is what I have been repeatedly assured."

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