Janette Irvine, 50, says now is the time for Boris Johnson to go (Picture: Janette Irvine)
A disabled woman who had to watch her best friend’s funeral online due to Covid restrictions has called Boris Johnson ‘a petulant child’.
Janette Irvine, 50, says she hopes the Prime Minister will eventually ‘face the truth’ and answer to claims of a ‘bring your own booze’ party at Number 10 in May 2020.
She told of the pain of losing her dad, mum, step-father and best friend during the pandemic and how socially distanced funerals with no wakes left her unable to properly mourn.
The mum-of-two, from Isleworth, west London, says she’d have done anything to spend more time with her loved ones in their final days, but was limited by lockdown rules at the time.
News of a leaked email in which 100 employees were invited to a Downing Street garden party – while Brits were limited to meeting one person outdoors – has left Jeanette feeling ‘so angry at this Government’.
Her mum was buried on December 10, 2020, the same day Gavin Williamson allegedly threw a party for Department for Education staff. It was also eight days before a Christmas bash was reportedly held at Number 10.
Janette told Metro.co.uk: ‘I don’t know what to do, I’m so angry, this government has just hurt more people than they’ve helped.
Janette at three months old with her mum Marjory, whose funeral was on the same day as one of the alleged Whitehall parties (Picture: Janette Irvine)
‘There’s people who say “Boris is so funny”, and I say “are you joking?”. He’s a petulant child who’s always had his own way.
‘I just hope one day that time will be up and he’ll have to face the truth of what’s happened.’
The Prime Minister is believed to have attended the May 20 party with his wife Carrie Johnson, but he’s so far avoided questions on the issue.
He has been accused of ‘hiding behind’ a Cabinet Office investigation into alleged Downing Street lockdown parties, led by senior civil servant Sue Gray.
Janette, who has cerebral palsy, says her dad Dennis Irvine was taken to to hospital with Covid in March 2020.
The retired steel fixer already had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and doctors have him a 13% chance of survival.
Janette, who has cerebral palsy, has only left the house for funerals or to go to hospital since the pandemic began (Picture: Janette Irvine)
Janette was only able to phone him twice a day, and was told she couldn’t see him until his condition became seriously grave. Even then she felt she couldn’t visit as she was afraid of catching Covid in hospital.
To everyone’s surprise, Dennis pulled through, but Janette said he ‘looked terrible’ when a nurse kindly offered to arrange a Facetime call.
‘After that he got a blood clot. Eventually they did let him out but he had a fall at home so it ended up being a failed discharge,’ said Janette.
‘I was begging them not to send him home but they needed the beds obviously. After that they sent him to a rehab centre.
‘Eventually he did go home but unfortunately in August 2021 he went downhill again.
‘He had pneumonia, consolidation on the lungs and blood clots, and that was due to Covid, but they couldn’t write that on his death certificate.’
The last time Janette saw Dennis outside of hospital was on Christmas 2020, but it was hardly the same as before the pandemic.
‘For 15 minutes he sat in my hallway while I stayed in my bed in the bedroom,’ Janette added.
‘I didn’t want to go outdoors, it scared me. I’d gone through so much with my dad having Covid, not knowing if he was going to live or die.’
Dennis was in hospital for about two weeks before his death in August 2021, aged 75, and Janette managed to see him as much as she could.
‘When he did die I managed to get there 10 minutes before with my 11-year-old son. I took a risk going there as it was right by the Covid ward,’ she added.
Janette’s dad Dennis, celebrating his 70th with his grandchildren (Picture: Janette Irvine)
Janette’s mum and step-dad – Marjory and Terry Foley – last saw each other on their anniversary on September 29, 2020.
Marjory, who had primary progressive MS for 20 years, couldn’t move her arms or her legs by the time Covid hit the UK.
She went away for respite care while Terry, who had cancer, stayed at home, at which point he started feeling very weak and was persuaded by family to go to hospital.
He was put on fluids and antibiotics, but during his hospital stay he caught Covid and passed away less than a week later, on October 30, 2020, aged 78.
‘I saw my mum at the funeral – there was no wake – we were limited to 30 people – I’m one of eight so we have quite a big family,’ said Janette.
Two weeks later, her mum went into hospital with a urinary tract infection, and despite initially showing promising signs, she died on November 29, aged 68.
Her death turned out to be due to sepsis and came one month after losing her husband – also a retired steel fixer.
‘We had to have another socially distanced funeral – not as many people there – nothing afterwards. I couldn’t be with my siblings I just had to leave the service and go home,’ said Janette.
‘Before that on the 5th of October my best friend died of a brain tumour – he just collapsed.
‘I couldn’t go to his funeral because I was shielding and his husband could only invite so many people, so I had to watch it online.’
Asked what she was doing on May 20, when No 10 staffers were allegedly drinking together in Number 10’s garden, Janette said she was in bed watching TV because she ‘couldn’t go anywhere else’.
Marjory last saw her husband Terry on their anniversary on September 29, 2020, before his death a month later (Picture: Janette Irvine)
‘I didn’t even go for an hour long walk, which was allowed under the rules, because I didn’t feel safe – people weren’t wearing masks.
‘To hear that bloody Boris Johnson has had another party when I couldn’t see my family and spend precious time with them – he’s just forgotten about everybody else.
‘When I saw him being interviewed last night and he smiled and his dimples showed – he doesn’t give a flying fig about anyone but himself. He doesn’t care who he hurts or who he disregards.
‘I stuck to the rules – I’ve been stuck in my house for two years – and he’s out there having parties.
‘I couldn’t spend time with my loved ones or anything. I’d do anything to go back and spend time with my mum or anybody.
‘Then there’s Boris Johnson having that other party on the 10th of December, and that was the day of my mum’s funeral.
‘I don’t know what to do, I’m so angry, this government has just hurt more people than they’ve helped.
‘Our Prime Minister nearly died of Covid. I said when he had it, I hope this teaches him a lesson and I hope when he comes out he does the right thing, but he hasn’t.’
Janette believes Johnson ought to resign, and she’s not the only one, as two damning polls suggest two-thirds of Brits want him out.
Meanwhile a GP has told Metro.co.uk of her ‘absolute sense of rage’ at reports of a Downing Street party, having just buried her father after losing him to Covid.
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Johnson was nowhere to be seen for an urgent question in the House of Commons about claims of a rule-breaking party in May 2020.
MPs in the chamber could be heard asking ‘Where is he?’ as Paymaster General Michael Ellis stood in for the PM.
Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner said Johnson’s absence ‘speaks volumes’ and said ‘he can run, but he can’t hide’.
But Cabinet Office minister Ellis urged MPs to wait until the investigation being carried out by Sue Gray was concluded.
He told members that Johnson ‘fully recognises’ that ‘we are all in this together’, adding: ‘He’s on the side of the people of this country.’
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