A DISTRAUGHT man who was unable to visit his dying dad because of the coronavirus pandemic says Boris Johnson’s “pitiful” apology “broke” him.

Mark Alefounder, from Colchester, has told the Gazette his dad tragically died on October 22 2020 at the Colonia Court Care Home, in St Andrew’s Avenue.

Prior to his death, Mr Alefounder and his family could only speak to him by “shouting through a closed window” due to the three-tier restrictions system being in place.

In order to protect the vulnerable from the more deadly aspects of catching Covid-19, for which there was then no vaccine, visitors were not permitted.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

“Many times, my dad was in bed on the other side of the room, and we had no idea if he could hear us and we couldn’t really see him,” said Mr Alefounder.

“He had a chest infection, and my mum was told it was likely to be the end, so she asked to go in and say her goodbyes, but she wasn’t allowed.

“Then one morning we got a call to say he had passed away, and when we arrived at the home 20 minutes later the pained expression of his last breath was on his face.

“Hugging him, I felt that he was still warm.”

Due to following the rules and making sacrifices for the greater good the country, Mr Alefounder was unable to be by the side of his dad in his last moments.

Circulating stories of several restriction-breaking parties in Downing Street have, therefore, left him fuming and upset, and he doesn’t buy the Prime Minister’s apology.

“Boris Johnson’s pitiful apology broke me – crying at work is not something I expected,” added Mr Alefounder.

Sue Gray, a senior civil servant, is now investigating the reported parties in Downing Street and elsewhere in Whitehall, to determine what happened.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Clacton MP Giles Watling, however, says he feels “let down” after Boris Johnson admitted attending a gathering while England was in lockdown.

Mr Watling, who says he was “certainly not invited” and didn’t know anything about the event which took place in May 2020, has now condemned the gathering.

“Fundamentally the whole thing is a big let-down and those that make the rules should stick to them,” he said.

“I was unable to visit my dying sister until the very end and I had restrictions on being able to see my family and this has been reflected up and down the country.”

Taking a slightly more on-the-fence and cautious approach, Braintree MP James Cleverly also responded to Boris Johnson’s bombshell revelation.

He said: “The Prime Minister was absolutely right to make an apology and explain what happened. It is now right to await Sue Gray’s findings.”