Mother forced to visit cancer-stricken baby alone tells of anger at PM’s parties

Mother forced to visit cancer-stricken baby alone tells of anger at PM’s parties
‘At a time when I thought my child had been given a death sentence, Boris Johnson was celebrating his birthday with cake,’ says mother

A mother who was unable to go to the hospital with her husband to visit their 11-month old baby after he was diagnosed with Kanker has said she is “sick to her stomach” over reports Boris Johnson celebrated his birthday in Downing Street during a Covid lockdown.

Imogen Holliday’s son Raphael was diagnosed with leukemia and taken to Great Ormond Street hospital in May 2020, throwing her and her family into a “whirlwind of cancer and told to navigate it alone.”

As part of measures aimed at slowing the spread of the virus, NHS guidelines at the time stated that only one parent or carer was allowed to visit a sick child in hospitala policy that was adopted by most trusts in England and across the UK.

In Junie 2020, despite it being against the law to hold social gatherings indoors, tot 30 people are said to have gathered in the cabinet room to wish the prime minister happy birthday, sing and eat cakeone of multiple allegations of illegal parties at Downing Street and in Whitehall being investigated by police.

Ms Holliday, 34, who acts as her son’s full time carer, vertel Die Onafhanklike “it beggars belief” that Mr Johnson celebrated his birthday with wife Carrie, colleagues, and their the couple’s decorator while she and her husband James were forced to split visits at the hospital.

“It made me sick to my stomach when I first heard the reports. At a time when I thought my child had been given a death sentence, Boris Johnson was celebrating his birthday with cake,” Ms Holliday said.

“What hypocrisy. It made me think: would the hospital rules have been applied to the prime minister if one of his children had fallen ill? It seems unlikelyit appears to be one rule for him and another for everybody else.”

Sy het bygevoeg: “It is insanity that a grown man’s birthday party can go ahead and then be swept under the carpet.”

Raphael has since had a bone marrow transplant and remains in recovery. Medics are waiting for his cell count to return to normal levels following a top up from a donor.

“He’s getting there, but it’s an awfully long process of fine tuning with various complications for an immunocompromised child,” Ms Holliday said.

Mr Johnson faced renewed calls to resign when details of his birthday gathering were first reported by ITV News earlier in January. ITV reported that Ms Johnson helped organise a surprise get-together for him on the afternoon of 19 June just after 2pm.

Tot 30 mense, including Lulu Lytle, the designer who was renovating Mr Johnson’s Downing Street flat attended the gathering. Ms Lytle is not a member of Downing Street staff.

The prime minister was presented with a cake and attendees sang him happy birthday. Geen 10 does not deny that the gathering took place but pushed back on some of the details in ITV News’s original report.

A spokesperson also said the PM was “there for less than 10 [object Window]

The story is the latest in a string of reports about gatherings in Downing Street, at some of which staff drank alcohol, ate food and danced. It is alleged that Covid rules were breached at some of the event Mr Johnson has previously said he had been assured that no rules had been broken.

A Cabinet Office report into the allegations, led by senior civil servant Sue Gray, which is expected to be published this week.

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