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Relative of tragic Covid pair mentioned in Commons hits back at ‘insensitive’ PM

·2 min read

A woman told by Boris Johnson during Prime Minister’s Questions to “look after herself” following the tragic Covid deaths of her father and sister has described his comments as “very insensitive”.

Jane Roche’s father Vince Pettitt and older sister Jocelyn Pettitt died within a week of each other in April last year, during the first peak of the pandemic.

Her case was raised in Parliament on Wednesday by Jack Dromey, MP for Birmingham Erdington, who said his constituent was “devastated and appalled” at allegations a party had taken place and the subsequent video footage of a mock press conference at which Downing Street aides apparently acknowledged the festive get-together.

Mr Johnson apologised for the offence caused by the video and replied: “I urge her (Mrs Roche) and everybody else to get their booster jab and look after themselves.”

2015 General Election candidates
Jack Dromey raised Jane Roche’s case during Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday (Gus Campbell Photography/PA)

Mrs Roche, who is already double-jabbed, hit back at the Prime Minister for his comments.

She told the PA news agency: “I’m not happy with the heartbreak he has already caused.

“Telling people to go and get their booster jabs is a kick in the teeth.

“I feel he is constantly letting us down.”

Mrs Roche said she witnessed at first-hand the devastating consequences of Covid, having spent the agonising final hours of her father’s life with him in hospital, and having seen the impact it had on Jocelyn.

Mrs Roche, who is already due to get her booster jab, said: “I have looked after myself, and so have thousands of others.

“We don’t need him (Mr Johnson) telling us what to do.

“It’s insensitive – very insensitive, but then I’m used to him making wrong decisions.”

Mrs Roche, of Castle Vale in Birmingham, said she did not accept the Prime Minister’s apology and has campaigned for a full public inquiry into the Government’s handling of the pandemic.

The 51-year-old added: “The video (of the mock press conference) disgusted me.

“How can anybody take them seriously when new measures come in?”

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