Mum whose son, 14, died days before PM’s ‘wine & cheese party’ speaks of her anger


Mrs Bennett’s 14-year-old son Fred was receiving treatment for leukaemia when he died in hospital on May 3. He had tested positive for coronavirus for a brief period the previous month

Louise Bennett
Louise Bennett spoke of her anger

A mum whose teenage boy died in lockdown days before an alleged ‘wine and cheese party’ at Downing Street has spoken of her anger.

Louise Bennett’s 14-year-old son Fred was receiving treatment for leukaemia when he died in hospital on May 3.

He had tested positive for coronavirus for a brief period the previous month.

After Fred died, only 10 people were allowed at his funeral due to the Government’s then-coronavirus rules.

In an interview the boy’s mum has hit out and said she was ‘really tired of the constant excuses’ after an image emerged appearing to show government staff enjoying wine together just days later.

Fred Bennett, 14, died in hospital while receiving treatment for leukaemia
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Image:

Facebook)

Speaking to BBC Breakfast she said: “On the whole I’m just really angry and I’m really tired of the constant excuses and sort of getting out on a technicality of why the government don’t enforce the rules that they’ve set.

“We dealt with incredibly difficult circumstances which were made ten times worse by the restrictions that we were happy to abide by because that’s what we needed to do and that’s what we were told to do.

“And I don’t understand how time and time again the government can say that those rules didn’t apply to them or if they did apply to them that they could justify their actions on sort of technicalities and small print really.”

Fred was diagnosed with coronavirus while he was receiving treatment in hospital
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Image:

Facebook)

Before her son’s death the mum, from Rugby, Warwickshire, and her husband spent 10 days in an en-suite hospital room with him as they self-isolated together after he contracted coronavirus.

No other visitors were allowed – not even Fred’s 11-year-old brother Arthur – and they had to find someone to take care of their younger child while they were in quarantine in hospital, saying it was an “agonising” decision as they knew that “breaking the lockdown was potentially putting other family members at risk”.

After Fred died, only 10 people were allowed at his funeral due to the Government’s Covid rules.

The interview came after a photo emerged appearing to show the PM, his wife and 17 staff members enjoying wine and cheese in the Downing Street garden.

The image, first obtained by the Guardian, was said to have been taken on May 15 2020, during the first coronavirus lockdown.

Earlier that afternoon, the-then Health Secretary Matt Hancock had advised the public to stick to the rules and not get carried away by the warm weather.

He told the daily coronavirus briefing: “People can now spend time outdoors and exercise as often as you like – and you can meet one other person from outside your household in an outdoor, public place. But please keep two metres apart.”

Downing Street said it was a work meeting.

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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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