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Woman ‘haunted’ by fact family couldn’t hold beloved brother as he died


A woman forced to say goodbye to her beloved dying brother through a window pane has described news of a Downing Street party in May 2020 as ‘the ultimate betrayal.’

Liverpool-born Philip Carmichael, a popular dad of two, who lived in Wirral, died of cancer in April 2020.

Strict covid lockdown rules at the time meant members of his devastated family were unable to hug him or be with him in his final moments.

READ MORE:Fury as Downing Street lockdown party news branded ‘the final insult’

And just a handful of people were allowed to attend his funeral, which came just two days after dozens of Downing Street staff attended a boozy party.

It has been reported Prime Minister Boris Johnson was one of around 40 people who attended the ‘Bring Your Own Booze’ event at a time when everyone in the country was restricted to meeting just one other person outdoors.

Philip’s sister, Pauline McPartland, said news of the government party has left her enraged and brought back the ‘haunting’ memories of her brother’s death.

Philip had been diagnosed with Oesophageal cancer in 2019, as the Covid-19 pandemic arrived he was given the devastating news he had very little time left.

He was sent home for his final days – with Pauline, one of Philip’s sons and his newly born grandchild only allowed to wave and say their final goodbyes through a window.



Philip Carmichael died of cancer in April 2020 - his family had to say goodbye through a window because of strict lockdown rules
Philip Carmichael died of cancer in April 2020 – his family had to say goodbye through a window because of strict lockdown rules

Pauline said: “I have found this all really triggering, I have been crying all day thinking about what they were doing while we were forced to say goodbye to my brother through a pane of glass.

“We couldn’t hug him, kiss him or be with him as he died – that still haunts me now.

“Now I look at what they (Downing Street) were doing at that time and I wish we had just gone in and been with him – we can never get that time back.”

“This story has just brought it all flooding back, it has reminded me how powerless and desperate we felt.

“I couldn’t sleep last night, I couldn’t stop crying.”

Philip, who ran his own business, was a popular character and had made many friends and contacts through his work and life. He also gave regularly to a host of charities.

Speaking about his restricted funeral in May, Pauline said: “Philip was so popular, he had met so many people in his life who would have wanted to come and say goodbye – but we were only allowed 15.

“Celebrating someone’s life is such an important part of the grieving process but we weren’t able to do that.

Speaking about those who attended the Downing Street party, Pauline said: “They have shown my brother and those who had to die alone absolutely no respect.

“If Boris Johnson had an ounce of human compassion he would have resigned already – I cannot understand why he is still in his position.”

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