03:41PM, Wednesday 07 July 2021
The Prime Minister Boris Johnson was forced to apologise during PMQs today after a furious speech from Tan Dhesi over coronavirus restrictions.
The Labour MP for Slough criticised those who have broken the Government guidance on coronavirus and stressed he was not even allowed to comfort his grandmother in her final moments or carry her coffin due to the restrictions in place.
He asked when the Prime Minister was going to apologise for not sacking his chief adviser Dominic Cummings after he broke restrictions last year to travel to Barnard Castle ranting 'it's one rule for him and his chums and another for the rest of us plebs.’
Mr Dhesi said: "My grandmother whom I love dearly, was lying on her hospital deathbed and none of us were allowed to be there to comfort her in her final moments.
"I couldn’t even carry her coffin on my shoulders. I also had to endure the agony of watching, alone, online the funeral of uncle.
"And we were not there to comfort my brother-in-law’s father, who had somehow contracted COVID in a Slough care home, during his final moments.
"All this, because we followed Government guidance. Having experienced such painful personal sacrifices, like many others.
So many of us have had to endure the agony of heartbreakingly painful personal sacrifices during the pandemic, just to comply with Government guidance.— Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi MP (@TanDhesi) July 7, 2021
So it simply cannot be one rule for the Prime Minister and his elite chums, and another rule for the rest of us! pic.twitter.com/8Oz852yQmD
"Imagine our collective disgust when in order to curry favour with the Prime Minister’s chief adviser, we see sycophantic, spineless, hypocritical government ministers lining up to defend the indefensible, saying 'it’s time to move on', with some even having the gall to tell us that they too go for a long drive when they need to get their eyesight tested.
"What an absolute disgrace and they should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.
"So when is the Prime Minister finally going to apologise to the nation for not mustering up some courage and integrity for doing the honourable thing and sacking his chief adviser who so shamelessly flouted his own government guidance?
"He could have regained that lost public trust and confidence and he could have demonstrated that it’s not one rule for him and his chums and another for the rest of us plebs."
Boris Johnson then apologised to Tan Dhesi, adding: "Perhaps the best thing I can say is how deeply I think I, the Government, everybody sympathises with those who have gone through the suffering described by the gentleman opposite.
"No one who hasn’t been through something like that can imagine what it must feel like to be deprived of the ability to mourn properly, to hold the hand of a loved one in their last moments in the way that the honourable gentleman describes, and I know how much sympathy will be with him.
"I take his criticisms most sincerely of the government and everything that we have done, but all that I can say is we have tried throughout this pandemic to minimise human suffering and to minimise loss of life.
"When he asks for me to apologise, I do. I apologise for the suffering that the people of this country have endured.
"Nothing I can say or do can take back the lost lives, the lost time spent with loved ones that he described and I’m deeply, deeply sorry for that.’
MP Joy Morrissey has raised concerns after learning that a Burnham Health Centre patient has been unable to obtain a GP appointment despite ‘numerous’ attempts.