politics

Grieving families of Covid victims tell Dominic Cummings 'sorry won't cut it'


A bereaved 18-year-old son has said an apology from Dominic Cummings about the Government’s handling of the pandemic “isn’t going to cut it”.

The Prime Minister’s former adviser said tens of thousands of people died unnecessarily because of the Government’s failings over coronavirus.

Speaking to MPs on Wednesday, Mr Cummings apologised, saying that ministers, officials and advisers had fallen “disastrously short” of the standards they should expect in a crisis.

Bereaved family members, including a wife, son and daughter, said listening to Mr Cummings’ testimony was “horrific”.

“I believe Cummings apologised but an apology isn’t going to cut it, they need to do much better,” Mert Dogus, 18, said.

His father, cab driver Haci Ali Dogus, 49, died in March 2020 after contracting the virus, leaving behind his wife and two sons.

Have you lost a loved one to Covid? Let us know what you think about how the Government handled the pandemic at webnews@reachplc.com



Dominic Cummings, former special advisor for Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces questions
Dominic Cummings, former special advisor for Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces questions

“The fact that Boris (Johnson) was on holiday around this time as well and not taking it seriously is shockingly unprofessional,” Mr Dogus said.

“(Hearing what Mr Cummings said) makes me feel like the Government doesn’t care about us unless we contribute a lot to the economy.

“It shows that my family and I have to take initiative to these dangerous situations to protect ourselves and our community – because the Government fails to do so.”

Charlie Williams, who lost his dad Rex to Covid at the age of 85 in a care home in Coventry in April last year, said today’s revelations about chaos at the heart of government confirmed what he already knew.

While he appreciated Cummings’s testimony, he can not forgive the former political advisor.



Charlie Williams with his late dad Rex
Charlie Williams with his late dad Rex

“Cummings was the PM’s chief advisor, he should be held accountable alongside Matt Hancock and Boris and the rest of them,” Mr Williams who is part of the campaign group Covid-19 Bereaved Families For Justice, told The Mirror.

“He has sent us his apologies, which I feel is too little too late, it can’t bring my father back.

“Today has been so explosive for me, the Prime Minister needs to think of his resignation. There should be a statutory inquiry this year, this summer.”

Fran Hall, who lost her husband to Covid last year, said she had heard Mr Cummings “spell out what we all feared” and called for a public inquiry to begin as soon as possible.

The 60-year-old’s long-term partner Steve Mead, 65, died just three weeks after the couple were married in 2020.



Boris Johnson was advised to lockdown in September, Cummings claimed
Boris Johnson was advised to lockdown in September, Cummings claimed

“According to Dominic Cummings today, the Prime Minister had been advised to bring in a lockdown in September, and he refused,” Ms Hall, from Buckinghamshire, said.

“Perhaps, if he had done so, Steve would still be here.

“It has been a deeply difficult experience hearing Dominic Cummings spell out what we all feared.

“Mr Cummings stated more than once today that tens of thousands of people died who didn’t need to die, and that the deaths were a result of inaction or decisions taken too late… this is a horrific thing to hear.

“Hearing such serious allegations made, without there being any consequences – other than scandalised media headlines for a few days – just adds to the unbearable pain felt by us, the bereaved families left behind.”

Linda Verlaque’s dad Bill Campbell died at the age of 86 of Covid at Erskine Park care home in Bishopton.



Bill Campbell died at the age of 86
Bill Campbell died at the age of 86

The grieving daughter welcomed Cummings comments and revelations into the workings of the government, and expressed hopes they would help push for a public inquiry.

“I was extremely angry when I saw the whiteboard with the comment on who they should save,” she told The Mirror.

“This only adds to the incompetence of Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock and how they handled the crisis.

“The more information that comes out of this, including the public enquiry, is only going to add information on how incompetent and unstable the UK prime minister and his government is.”

She added: “They should be held accountable for every single death.”

Charlotte Compton lost her father James Jones to the coronavirus at the Royal Blackburn Hospital.

Like Ms Verlaque, she was enraged by today’s revelations about the mishandling of the pandemic, particularly as they came from the mouth of someone there at the time.

“What we have heard from Dominic Cummings is what we knew already though it’s painful to hear it confirmed from someone who was closely involved in the chaotic management of the Covid pandemic,” she told The Mirror.



Charlotte Compton and her late father, James Jones
Charlotte Compton and her late father, James Jones

“Those who lost someone over the age of 80, like myself, have been made to feel that the lives of their lost ones have little value despite the huge contributions they have made over their lives.

“Every extra hour, day, week, month or year that anyone lives is immeasurable irrespective of their age.

“We are all someone’s daughter or son and there are far too many of us who have lost that extra precious time with those special people in our lives.

“I would give anything to spend just one more day with my dad. His life was cut short by catastrophic decisions which could have been avoided.”

A bereaved daughter called Meredith, who did not wish to share her surname, expressed her scepticism about Cummings, saying that she does not want him “looking like the good guy” after his statements and apology.

“He’s not (the good guy). He absolutely failed and shouldn’t have been in the position he was – he’s right on that front, it’s crackers,” the 32-year-old from Cumbria, whose father died after contracting Covid-19 while in hospital in January, said.

“He didn’t do the right thing. Instead he propped up Boris Johnson throughout the pandemic while at the same time making a mockery of the system he devised.

“I’m so angry I feel ill. My father is dead and I know he didn’t have to die like that. It wasn’t inevitable… it’s down to the decisions of people like (Boris) Johnson, (Dominic) Cummings, (Matt) Hancock, and (Sir Keir) Starmer.

“There’s no point scoring, no joy to be had from any of this. It’s done. People are dead.”





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