‘I sacrificed final moments with my dying dad as No10 held Christmas party’

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EXCLUSIVE Mandy Phillips, 60, from Thames Ditton, Surrey, was already fuming with the Government over ex Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s affair with aide Gina Colangelo

Mandy Phillips with her dad Brian, who died from suspected coronavirus in January
Mandy Phillips with her dad Brian, who died from suspected coronavirus in January

A woman is furious with No10 for holding a Christmas party while she was banned from being with her dad when he died.

Mandy Phillips, 60, from Thames Ditton, Surrey, struggled to watch the leaked clip of Boris Johnson ’s ex spokeswoman Allegra Stratton laughing about the bash.

The video was the final straw for Ms Phillips, who was already fuming over ex Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s affair with his aide Gina Colangelo.

Mandy accused the Government of ignoring its own rules while she and other Brits made ‘sacrifices’ to keep the vulnerable safe.

Mr Johnson has now apologised and ordered an inquiry into the rule-breaking drinks last December.

Mandy, who cared for her elderly father, told The Mirror: “I spent all of 2020 keeping my dad safe and away from the virus.

Did you lose a loved one to coronavirus last Christmas? Email [email protected]

Brian had been in and out of hospital throughout the pandemic
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Image:

Mandy Phillips)

Mandy said she felt ‘let down’ by the Government as she had made sacrifices by following the rules
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Image:

Mandy Phillips)

“I feel very let down, we were all making sacrifices that December, although some people clearly were not.

“I was very angry before this latest video because of the Hancock scenario.

“We were told we were not supposed to mix with people from different households and meanwhile the minister of health is clearly ignoring his own advice.

“Now there is this video. The flippancy of that video – the laughing and joking about something so serious when so many of us were experiencing difficult times – I found it hard to watch.

“I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. I was appalled at it.”

Brian was the youngest of nine children and would have had a big funeral under normal circumstances
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Image:

Mandy Phillips)

Boris Johnson has apologised over the rule-breaking party last Christmas
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Image:

PA)

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Mandy was not allowed to visit her 84-year-old father Brian from the moment he was hospitalised on December 3 last year.

He was taken to University College Hospital after a fall but was later discharged to Albany Park Nursing Home in Enfield.

The former fruit and veg trader, who worked as a BT engineer later in life, died from suspected coronavirus on January 16.

Mandy believes her dad caught the disease in the care home as he tested negative before being sent to the facility.

To make matters worse, Brian’s family was not able to organise a large funeral for him – as they wanted.

She said: “He was brought up in Covent Garden and was the youngest of nine. More than 100 people would have come to his funeral under normal circumstances.

“In the end there were just six of us. Everyone of a certain age or close to my dad was not vaccinated and could not attend.

“They were worried about being out and many were shielding. Also getting there was difficult as no one wanted to use public transport and only one household was allowed per funeral car.”

Allegra Stratton resigned as the Government’s spokeswoman for the Cop26 climate summit on Wednesday after footage of her laughing about the No10 Christmas bash was leaked.

In the video she can be seen answering practice questions about the party from No10 staff during a mock press conference.

Mr Johnson “apologised unreservedly” over the No10 Christmas party at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday – although he denied all responsibility, continued to claim he was told rules were followed, and threw his own staff under the bus.

The Prime Minister said he was “sickened and furious” at the clip of his staff laughing about the bash, when lockdown rules banned social gatherings.

After a week of stonewalling questions, and No10 claiming there was no party, the PM announced an investigation by the Cabinet Secretary and disciplinary action if the rules were broken.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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