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‘PM made a mockery of my lowest point’, says Co Down man who stood outside graveyard while daughter was buried

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Credit: Henry Nicholls/Reuters

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Credit: Henry Nicholls/Reuters

REUTERS

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Credit: Henry Nicholls/Reuters

A Co Down man whose daughter and ex-partner both died of Covid-19 last year has said Boris Johnson has “made a mockery” of people like him across the UK due to lockdown gatherings.

Kevin McAllister told BBC Stephen Nolan’s radio show: “The lowest part of your life is losing somebody. That was the lowest part of my life, and he makes a mockery of it.”

The Drumaness native had to stand outside the gates of the graveyard in Holywood, Co Down where his daughter was being buried last September.

Due to coronavirus restrictions set by the UK government, family members were not allowed to approach the coffin as it was lowered into the ground.

“Boris Johnson seemed just to make a mockery of the whole thing. It’s just sad that we all followed the rules,” added Mr McAllister.

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On Monday, senior civil servant Sue Gray published an interim report with some findings of her investigation into parties at No 10 throughout lockdowns, while the public were expected to follow Covid-19 restrictions.

She said the Metropolitan Police is investigating up to twelve gatherings by Westminster officials, and highlighted ‘failures of leadership and judgement" in Downing Street.

  

Mr McAllister also questioned if members of the public that broke lockdown rules and were handed monetary fines by police would receive their funds back, now that information has come to light about the prime minister having lockdown-breaking parties at No 10.

“For those people that were fined for gathering - does that money go back to the people? The government should have got fined - is all that money handed back because Boris Johnson lied?”

Downing Street indicated on Tuesday that the public may never be told if Boris Johnson is fined for breaches of coronavirus rules at No 10 parties.

Officials insisted it would be a matter for Scotland Yard to decide whether to name individuals who are hit with fixed penalty notices in the partygate investigation – but police guidelines state they would not routinely be identified.

“I’ll never forget them closing the gates in Holywood. I watched my daughter get lowered into the grave from outside the gates,” Mr McAllister explained emotionally.

“I had motorbike medals and a Leeds United top I was going to put into the grave, which I never could do.

“Little things like that we couldn’t do. It means nothing to Boris Johnson, but means a lot to a lot of families.”

He said he never got the chance to give his daughter a proper goodbye and noted that “thousands of families” had to go through the same thing, citing the Queen who solemnly sat alone during Prince Philip’s funeral last April.

“I was cross. It’s one rule for them and one rule for us. You could talk about it until the cows come home,” he said.

Mr McAllister’s 32-year-old daughter Sammie-Jo Forde died from Covid-19, just days after her mum.

Both women were unvaccinated, and lost their lives to the virus in the same ward at the Ulster Hospital, just two beds apart.

At the time of their deaths, Mr McAllister had said: “Both of them never took the Covid injections… these people who are not taking the Covid-19 injection, they’re not thinking of the other people they’re leaving behind.

“I’ve lost my daughter, my best friend, all I have are memories of her, motorbike racing, fishing, driving diggers, that’s all the memories I have.”

He added that his daughter, who was a care worker, had no underlying health conditions when she passed away.


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