'Why did I bother with the rules?': Chris Bryant's lockdown struggle to find care for dad

25 May 2022, 15:20 | Updated: 25 May 2022, 16:53

By Tim Dodd

Chris Bryant has recounted the agony of being unable to help his father after he was diagnosed with dementia due to Covid rules - while Downing Street partied.

The Labour MP wondered why he bothered sticking by Covid rules during the pandemic, unable to arrange legal guardianship or sort out the house, when Boris Johnson didn't.

It comes as Boris Johnson issued another apology to the nation after Sue Gray's report into lockdown-busting parties was published in full, including photos of the PM, Chancellor Rishi Sunak, and Cabinet Secretary Simon Case.

Following the release of the full report, Mr Johnson addressed MPs, saying he takes "full responsibility."

He admitted he attended some events to thank staff but accepted that events "went on longer than necessary".

Labour MP Chris Bryant told Shelagh Fogarty: "There's no way he can claim he hasn't misled parliament, he knew about it.

"Some people say the issue is, did the Prime Minister deliberately lie to Parliament. I don't think that's the question, the question is did he knowingly lie to Parliament?"

Mr Bryant compared the situation to when "Admiral Nelson put his spyglass up to his blind eye and said 'What ships? I see no ships'."

"Of course it was a lie, and that's exactly what Boris Johnson has done", he said.

Mr Bryant explained the struggle he had in finding care for his father, which he hadn't spoken about before.

Read more: Sunak to unveil 'cost-of-living rescue package' the day after Sue Gray publishes report

"My dad lives in Alderney. During Covid we were not able to visit of course, and social services in Alderney got in touch with me to say that there had been a terrible incident out there, and that both he and his wife had been diagnosed with quite bad dementia," he said.

"I wasn't able to go to Alderney to sort out getting legal guardianship for him, to sort out his house, sort out where he was going to live, he was in tears on the phone because he didn't understand why his wife was now in a care home.

"Eventually I got both of them into a care home, but I had to do all of that without being able to visit!

"You do sort of think to yourself, 'well, why did I bother sticking by the rules?'."

READ IN FULL: Sue Gray's much-anticipated final Partygate report

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