Boris Johnson party: I couldn’t see my aunt for three months - he should go

A Belfast woman whose elderly aunt died after she was unable to see her for three months during lockdown due to Covid rules says Boris Johnson should “probably consider his position”.

Thursday, 13th January 2022, 8:09 pm
Updated Thursday, 13th January 2022, 8:29 pm

Marion Reynolds was the primary family carer for her aunt Marie Reynolds from Bangor, who fell and broke her hip in July 2020.

She later suffered a chest infection and was admitted to a care home as her niece was unable to care for her.

Despite tireless efforts, Marion was unable to see her aunt in person for some three months, only finally gaining access three days before she died, in November 2020.

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Marion Reynolds was unable to see her elderly aunt for three months during lockdown and says Boris Johnson should probably consider his position in the wake of relevations about a drinks party at Numbter Ten Downing Street.

She is concerned at the apparent disparity in how ordinary people suffered under lockdown when she hears about the drinks party that Boris Johnson attended with staff at Downing Street during lockdown.

“It is just the case that the rest of us were being prohibited from seeing our relatives in hospitals and care homes as in my aunt’s case,” she told the News Letter.

“We weren’t allowed in for three months even though I told them she wouldn’t eat from strangers. She had this thing about food hygiene all her life.

“So over these three months she just increasingly diminished in weight.”

Marion regularly left food and drink for her aunt but her condition still deteriorated.

“Eventually I created such a fuss that three days before she died they said that, as an exception, they would let me in to see her.”

However, her aunt was very weak at this stage and died three days later, fortunately with a family member present. She estimates her aunt weighed four-and-a-half stone when she died.  

“Those last months of her life were horrendous.”

Marion said she was “distressed” by the entire situation and feels the drinks party at Downing Street stands in stark contrast with life for those with ill or disabled relatives.

“I just feel it beggars belief that people that make rules obviously don’t understand or have any sensitivity to what that means for families like mine,” she said.

“They just live their lives with total disdain and disregard for how other people were being impacted by their decisions.

“I think his apology doesn’t really amount to an apology and I think he shows a remarkable ability to show disdain for other people and their situation.”

She added: “He probably should consider his position because I am not alone in having suffered as a consequence of the roll-out of lockdown.”

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Ben Lowry