GRIEVING the loss of loved ones, unable to visit sick family members and planning restricted funerals – these are just some of the heart-breaking situations Argus readers were dealing with around the time of the Downing Street garden party at the height of the first covid lockdown.

Yesterday, prime minister Boris Johnson confessed to MPs and the nation that he had also attended – with MPs from both sides of the commons calling for his resignation.

Billed as a ‘bring your own booze’ event, more than 100 Downing Street staff were invited to the party on May 20, 2020 – which took place amid strict covid rules on socialising.

Gwent MPs have given us their responses to what happened in Downing Street that day, so we asked Argus readers on our Facebook page what they were doing on May 20, 2020.

Jan Channer says she was “at home”, following the rules, but her mother was in hospital at the time.

“I was unable to visit my poor dying mother in hospital," she said. "She had to die alone and feeling unloved.”

Terri Ambrosen found herself in a similar situation. She said: “I was grieving for my brother who had to die alone in hospital the day before the [Downing Street] party.”

Funeral organisation was a particularly painful process at the time – with covid severely restricting the amount of people that were able to say goodbye to loved ones.

Matt Marsham described how he was “picking what family members could come to our beloved grandmother’s funeral".

“We had to turn family away because there was a limit of 30 people," he said.

“Double that number were prancing about in a poxy garden party in London.”

Hollie Jenkins said: “I was waiting for my father in law’s funeral. Oh wait – I couldn’t say goodbye because only five people were allowed to attend!”

Gayle Evans, who was mourning the recent loss of her mother, said: “My mother had to be cremated with only five members in attendance, we had to social distance in the crematorium, so we all basically sat alone.

“My mother knew she was dying and had planned her funeral, but we couldn’t carry out any of her wishes due to covid, not even a wake.”

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People with underlying health problems were abiding to strict shielding rules at the time.

Katherine King said she was “stuck indoors because I’m asthmatic and previously had cancer.

“Great to know Downing Street were enjoying [themselves] whilst people were shielding, and people were unable to see dying loved ones or attend their funeral,” she said.

Kelly Evans was at home shielding with her husband and children – she said: “I was awaiting my second dose of chemotherapy following a breast cancer diagnosis in February 2020.

“I had to attend hospital appointments for results and was having to go for treatment on my own.”

Others said they felt foolish for following the rules so strictly – as important life events were put on hold.

Bethany Priest said: “My sister’s wedding was cancelled that month because of lockdown.

“Meanwhile they’re sipping the gin and enjoying themselves. It’s an absolute joke.”

Lisa Tune said she felt that those at the Downing Street gathering were “laughing at us all.”

“I’m so angry. I couldn’t see two of my newly born grandchildren for months, but they could have party after party and get away with it.

“Sadly, they will get away with it yet again.”