Resident demands MP Nadhim Zahawi to condemn those involved in alleged No.10 parties - The Stratford Observer

Resident demands MP Nadhim Zahawi to condemn those involved in alleged No.10 parties

Stratford Editorial 19th Jan, 2022   0

A CONSTITUENT is demanding Stratford MP Nadhim Zahawi condemn the actions of those alleged to have breached Covid regulations at Downing Street.

The resident, who did not want to be named, is outraged at the MP’s support for Prime Minister Boris Johnson following calls for his resignation after reports of parties, held at Downing Street during lockdown, emerged.

In a letter to Mr Zahawi, she describes how during the first lockdown, on May 20, 2020, her family were forced to social distance during the funeral of her grandma who died in a care home, without her family, after contracting Covid.

The day coincided with one of a growing number of alleged parties, including one five days earlier. The accusations followed a leaked email allegedly inviting some 100 staff to a garden party at number 10 – a breach of Covid regulations at the time.

She told the Observer: “As the email was being circulated, we waved the hearse off from my Nanny’s street. The funeral director apologised to us and the other family and friends who had gathered, appropriately distanced, in the heat to pay our respects, that it had to be that way. One of my sisters isn’t local, so she wasn’t even permitted to do that.”

The constituent describes the tragic circumstances in which family and friends were forced to say goodbye to her grandma as she streamed the funeral over Zoom.

She wrote: “A dodgy mobile phone feed was the only way I could pay my last respects, unable to comfort my crying father.

“I hope that you can take time to reflect upon the human cost of the pandemic, particularly against the background of the latest reports. You can, I hope, appreciate how it feels that we, the public, are being taken for fools.”

At the time, only 10 people were permitted to attend important events such as funerals and weddings. Otherwise, a maximum of two people from separate households could meet in a public place such as a park.

Mr Johnson has since admitted he attended the May events – which he claims were both work gatherings.

Other reports of gatherings have since come to light including a handful during the following November and December, while in April 2021 one was said to be held on the eve of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral, during a third national lockdown.

The letter went on: “As my constituency MP, you should be speaking up for those you represent, including my Nanny. I would like your assurance that you will condemn the actions of those who breached the regulations in place at the time, now including the Prime Minister, and that you will hold them to account.

“The sacrifices made by my family and many, many others are belittled by the actions of the Prime Minister, and of your other colleagues found to have committed these breaches, and by the justifications offered by all of you for these reprehensible behaviours.”

Labour, the Liberal Democrats and SNP are all calling on the Prime Minister to resign while six Conservative MPs have declared they have no confidence in Mr Johnson.

Mr Zahawi has since defended Mr Johnson, calling him ‘human’ and that he therefore ‘made mistakes’.

But in response to the letter he said he understood the angry reactions to the allegations: “I have a deep sympathy with people who lost loved ones during lockdown and were unable to be with them in their final moments.

“Sadly, I also lost my beloved uncle. I understand the anger that is being experienced by people across the country in light of these allegations.

“Given the seriousness and sensitivity of this issue, it is right that an independent investigation takes place to ascertain exactly what went on and to determine potential disciplinary action.”

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