'Despicable' - Families of lost loved ones 'let down' by Boris Johnson

Linda Keevil and Ian Ward, who lost their lives to Covid

Ian Ward and Linda Keevil, who both tragically lost their lives to Covid. - Credit: Submitted by family / Marina Keevil

Bereaved families who lost loved ones to Covid have called the prime minister's garden party admission "despicable" - with one daughter calling for him to resign.

In the House of Commons on Wednesday, Boris Johnson said he did attend a gathering in the garden of Downing Street during the first coronavirus lockdown.

In a leaked email, 100 Downing Street staff were invited to a gathering and invited to "bring your own booze" on May 22 2020. 

Susanna Woodsford lost her father, Ian Ward, a retired schoolteacher from Debenham, in June 2020.

She said: “I feel very let down.

Ian Ward, covid victim

Former Stowmarket Middle School teacher Ian Ward, who died after testing positive for Covid-19. - Credit: Submitted by family

“I last saw my dad in March when my son had to start shielding, and the next time I saw him was in a box.

"I honestly did not step out of my house for nearly a year, I didn’t even go in the garden.

“We did everything right.

Most Read

“Then there's Mr Johnson and his cronies seeming to do what they wanted to do.

“He stood there at his podium, thanking us for what we were doing, and how everyone was pulling together and we’re all doing this and we’re all doing that, but they weren't.

“We put our trust in these people and look how they treat us.

“It’s despicable.” 

Susanna also believes that Mr Johnson should "without a doubt" resign from his position having said it was right for Matt Hancock and Allegra Stratton to step down following backlash.

Only ten people were permitted to attend her father's funeral, and Susanna says that this has affected her daughter who was unable to go.

"She couldn't go to his funeral because of numbers, and to this day she couldn’t get her head round why she couldn’t.

“She had to watch it on an iPad."

Marina Keevil lost her sister Linda, who was a dinner lady at Ravenswood Community Primary School, aged 65, in November 2020.

Linda Keevil, covid victim

Former Ravenswood Community Primary School dinner lady, Linda Keevil, died in November 2020. - Credit: Marina Keevil

“We’re a big family, and half the nieces and nephews couldn't go to the funeral, we had to do the video online.” 

She that it was "heartbreaking" that members of the family weren't allowed to attend the ceremony.

She said she was  "angry" with the prime minister and believes that he should be "kicked out" of number ten. 

Marina also said that she feels it is "one rule for one and one rule for another”.  

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter