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Scots councillor demands Boris Johnson quits as ‘Downing Street staff partied’ while her brother died from Covid

A furious council chief has written to Boris Johnson demanding he resign after Tory Government staff partied as her brother was dying from Covid.

Marie Garrity couldn’t visit her brother Ian as he was fighting for his life in hospital last Christmas.

The senior Glasgow City ­councillor had to call her brother and say her last goodbyes over the phone hours before his death on December 29.

Now Marie, who heads ­Scotland’s National Association of Councillors, has been left angry and sickened at revelations of Downing Street staff flouting rules with Christmas quizzes and cheese and wine parties.

She said: “It is one rule for them and one rule for the rest of us.



Cllr Marie Garrity
Cllr Marie Garrity lost her brother to Covid-19 on December 29 last year

“When I heard about the parties, I felt so angry that while they were celebrating my brother was fighting for his life.

“Johnson just keeps on denying it all and he needs to go. He has lied enough.”

She has now written to the PM, telling him to quit for letting the country down.

In her letter to Johnson, she said: “I was not allowed to visit my brother and neither was his eight-year-old son.

“My final words to my brother were said on the phone. I didn’t get to hold him one last time. Do the right thing, Mr Johnson, and resign.”

Marie, a former nurse, said she was disgusted that Government workers had shown a complete disregard for all the families like hers who sacrificed so much to adhere to restrictions.

She said they had a “knees-up while NHS staff and families like mine were on their knees”.



Marie Garrity with her mum Jean (left) Marie and brother Ian
Marie Garrity with her mum Jean (left) Marie and brother Ian

Ian was admitted to St James Hospital in Leeds on December 4 last year to have treatment for the blood cancer non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and doctors predicted it would be a success.

However, he contracted Covid despite shielding and his resistance was so low from chemotherapy that his body had no strength to fight the virus.

By Christmas Day, he was in intensive care.

Ian, 60, and his wife Manjit had their son Arun after 22 years of trying and he adored his little boy, who couldn’t come to see him because of Covid rules.

Marie, 68, said she was distraught that her brother was alone in hospital without being able to have visits from his devoted family.



Cllr Marie Garrity
Cllr Marie Garrity had to call her brother and say her last goodbyes over the phone hours before his death

She said: “We were so close. I adored my brother and he adored me. He was my one and only brother.”

Ian’s sole visitor was Manjit, who was only allowed into the ward when it was clear he had so little time left. She warned Marie that there were only hours remaining and held the phone to his ear, so his sister could speak to him.

Weeping as she recalled the call, Marie said: “I don’t know how I got the words out.

“I told him how much I loved him and he was the best brother I could ever have wished for.

“I said I would look after our mum, and his son would always know his aunt.

“Having to say goodbye over the phone like that was just ­horrendous. I couldn’t even give my brother one last hug.”

Her mother Jean couldn’t bear to say her farewells to her son over the phone and sadly she died from cancer only months later.

Grief still grips Labour ­councillor Marie and for her, Christmas will never be the same. She was “irate” when it was uncovered there had been social gatherings and parties in Downing Street and Westminster, while the country was under restrictions which forbade them.

While a deadly coronavirus surge led to lockdowns so strict that indoor meetings with people from other households were forbidden – a few dozen of the prime minister’s staffers ­reportedly hosted a festive ­gathering at 10 Downing Street.

It was only one in a series of such gatherings to be uncovered in the past month that led to the resignation of Johnson’s spokeswoman Allegra Stratton.

Last week a picture emerged showing Conservative London mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey, activists and a party donor crammed together for a party during lockdown on December 14, wearing Christmas hats while posing beside a buffet.

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