‘Truly beyond belief’: Covid victim’s daughter says she ‘feels sick’ to think of No 10 party

Met Police says it is liaising with Cabinet Office over latest claim of lockdown party

Lamiat Sabin
Monday 10 January 2022 23:43
<p>Hannah Brady with photos of her father Shaun and grandmother Margaret, who had both died of Covid </p>

Hannah Brady with photos of her father Shaun and grandmother Margaret, who had both died of Covid

The daughter of a man who died after contracting Covid has said it makes her “feel sick” to think Boris Johnson was allegedly “partying” on the day her father’s death certificate was signed.

Shaun Brady, a key worker at the Kraft Heinz factory in Wigan, died four days before more than 100 Downing Street employees were reportedly invited to a party during the height of the first coronavirus lockdown.

The email by the prime minister’s private secretary Martin Reynolds appeared to organise a “bring your own booze” evening gathering in the garden of No 10, which would be one of many parties said to have been held by the government while social distancing regulations were in place.

The email said that those planning to attend should “make the most of the lovely weather”, despite England being under tough Covid restrictions.

ITV News reported the party took place on 20 May 2020 and alleged it was attended by the prime minister and his wife, Carrie.

Hannah Brady, a spokeswoman for the Covid-10 Bereaved Families for Justice Group, said it was “disgraceful” that a party was being held while it was illegal to do so, and on the same day her father’s death certificate had been signed.

She said Mr Brady, who was 55, was fit and healthy when he contracted Covid, and that she and her family had done “everything they could” to keep him safe during lockdown.

“Those days will stay with me for the rest of my life, just like the families of the 353 people that died that day, my family couldn’t even get a hug from our friends,” she said.

“To think that whilst it was happening Boris Johnson was making the ‘most of the weather’ and throwing a party for 100 people is truly beyond belief.

“At the time, everyone would have known that going to a party was wrong, so how can those running the country have thought it was OK? Could there be a more disgraceful example of ‘one rule for them, and another rule for the rest of us’?”

In September last year, Ms Brady was among five families from the bereaved families campaign group who met Mr Johnson.

She added: “To make matters worse, in September I sat in that same garden, looked the Prime Minister in the eyes and told him how my dad had died. He told me he had ‘done everything he could’ to protect my dad.

“Knowing that he had partied in that same spot the very day that Dad’s death certificate was signed. It makes me feel sick to think about it.”

The Metropolitan Police confirmed it is liaising with the Cabinet Office over the latest claims of a party being held in Downing Street.

The Liberal Democrats’ home affairs spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said if rules were found to be broken then “those responsible should face the full force of the law”.

He added: “Boris Johnson himself said just days after this party that the police should step in to stop people holding outdoor gatherings.

“It would absolutely reek of double standards if the police don’t investigate these allegations in full.”

No 10 said it would not be commenting on the allegations while Sue Gray, a senior civil servant, carries out her inquiry into numerous allegations of rule-breaking events being held in Downing Street during the pandemic.

Ms Gray, a Cabinet Office official, has also expanded her investigation to look into a garden gathering that took place five days prior to the evening party, which was revealed by a leaked photo showing the PM and staff sat around a table with cheese and wine.

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner urged Ms Gray to confirm that Mr Reynolds’ leaked email should form part of her probe.

Ms Rayner told ITV News: “Many people that see the evidence now will not only think that Boris Johnson’s lies are catching up with him, but will see it as absolutely despicable that when they were actually told to follow the rules, Boris Johnson and No 10 were breaking the rules.”

She said that police should step in to investigate if Ms Gray’s inquiry finds coronavirus rules were broken by ministers or government staff.

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