Voters' fury at hypocrisy of Boris Johnson's 'disgusting' lockdown parties

The Mirror’s Jeremy Armstrong visits Middlesborough and hears the stories of people who were unable to see loved ones while Boris Johnson and his staff partied in lockdown

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Voters are furious that Boris Johnson and his staff enjoyed parties in defiance of lockdown rules.

Teesside was one of the areas hardest hit during lockdown last year with a low uptake of the vaccine.

At the time of the first party on November 27, 2020, Middlesbrough was in the midst of the four-week national lockdown with Tier 3 rules.

By Dec 18 – when 40 or 50 No 10 staff had a boozy party – the town was again in Tier 3 like London.

Maureen Lloyd, a 67-year-old retail worker from the town said: “I think it’s disgusting. It’s one rule for them and another for us.

“I live alone, which was difficult especially when we went into lockdown.

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Maureen Lloyd is a 67-year-old retail worker


North News & Pictures northnews.co.uk)

Kane Aoiten is a 32-year-old nightclub owner


North News & Pictures northnews.co.uk)

“I couldn’t see my boyfriend because he lives in another area of the country and he had a triple heart bypass and then a stroke.

“All I wanted to do was to help him but I wasn’t able to.

“I also have grandchildren and great grandchildren aged between three months and 11, I couldn’t see them either.

“I work in Sainsbury’s and it was really hard for me, I had no time off and restrictions were tough.

“In my view, everyone should be equal and abide by equal rules.”

Zoe Tootell is a 38-year-old carer from Middlesbrough


North News & Pictures northnews.co.uk)

Kane Aoiten, a 32-year-old nightclub owner in Middlesbrough said: “It’s like rubbing salt into wounds but I’m not surprised.

“It takes the mick, I struggled being a night club owner and we lost two years worth of income, it was impossible to open.

“I managed to see my immediate family at Christmas but no one else so it’s disappointing to hear.”

Zoe Tootell, a 38-year-old carer from Middlesbrough said: “We cancelled all our Christmas plans last year because of the lockdown.

“My sister lives in London so we we’re going to bring the children down and all spend time together which we couldn’t do.

“She has a new baby and we only say her once during the year and they grow up so quickly.

“It’s one rule for them and another for everyone else.”

Joiner Michael Tootell, 38, also from Middlesbrough said: “It’s the hypocrisy that does it for me.

“We had to change our plans for the lockdown and they don’t.

“I’m a joiner so I didn’t have any time off during lockdown and it was really hard and scary for us. It’s not fair.”

40 or 50 staff had a boozy party in Number 10


Getty Images)

Catherine Hornsby, 21, a social science student at Teesside University, said: “It’s not fair.

“Those who were rich and privileged had it easier in lockdown anyway. The people suffering were those who were poor or disabled so to see government ministers breaking lockdown is not right.

“I was against lockdowns in the sense that those who felt the impact were disadvantaged, which I know is controversial, but it’s about equality which is something we clearly haven’t got.”

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