BBC’s Nick Robinson apologises for wrongly claiming that ‘Downing Avenue’ cleaner died of Covid

BBC presenter Nick Robinson has right this moment apologised after wrongly claiming a Ministry of Justice cleaner died ‘of Covid’ whereas working in ‘Downing Avenue’.

The Radio 4 Immediately present host introduced up the tragic loss of life of presidency cleaner Emanuel Gomes whereas grilling Boris Johnson‘s chief of employees Steve Barclay over Partygate.

Quoting a report by political sketch journal, The Critic, he stated Mr Gomes had been ‘instructed to maintain coming into work throughout lockdown, had contracted Covid and had died’.

He later referred to Mr Gomes as having labored at Downing Avenue – the place he was ‘surrounded by individuals who have been routinely breaking the foundations’.

However Mr Gomes had not been working at Downing Avenue on the time of his loss of life – as a result of he was a cleaner for the Ministry of Justice.

And whereas colleagues had raised considerations that Mr Gomes had been struggling Covid-like signs within the lead as much as his loss of life in April 2020, an official coroner’s report recorded it as hypertension of the guts.

Immediately the skilled BBC journalist apologised, describing his alternative of wording as a ‘mistake’.

It comes amid considerations, raised in Sue Grey’s report, about how Downing Avenue employees handled assist employees, together with cleaners, in the course of the interval of Partygate.

Issuing an apology by way of the social media web site Twitter, he wrote: ‘A correction and an apology: This morning in an interview with the prime minister’s chief of employees I raised the case – reported within the Critic journal – of “one authorities cleaner who contracted Covid and died”.

BBC presenter Nick Robinson has right this moment issued a grovelling apology after quizzing a prime Tory MP over the ‘Covid’ loss of life of a ‘Downing Avenue’ cleaner – who didn’t work at Quantity 10

The Radio 4 Today show host brought up the tragic death of government cleaner Emanuel Gomes (pictured) while grilling Boris Johnson's chief of staff Steve Barclay over Partygate

The Radio 4 Immediately present host introduced up the tragic loss of life of presidency cleaner Emanuel Gomes (pictured) whereas grilling Boris Johnson’s chief of employees Steve Barclay over Partygate

‘I went on to explain this man as a person who had been instructed to work in Downing Avenue who was surrounded by individuals breaking the foundations. 

Fury as Tory MP Richard Bacon says Boris Johnson shouldn’t be ‘condemned’ over Partygate as a result of NHS employees have been additionally ‘letting their hair down’ throughout pandemic 

By Jack Wright for MailOnline 

A Conservative MP has sparked a contemporary partygate row after suggesting that NHS employees additionally broke Covid guidelines in the course of the pandemic.

Richard Bacon, who has held the protected seat of South Norfolk since 2001, tried to justify boozy lockdown-busting events in Boris Johnson‘s Authorities by implying that well being employees throughout the UK additionally flouted the restrictions.

Talking to BBC regional information programme Look East, he stated: ‘I’m not pleased with the revelations, however I feel they have been working beneath big stress – you haven’t investigated it, however there are 1.5million individuals who work within the NHS and I wager in case you tried exhausting sufficient you could possibly discover some individuals letting their hair down who had been working 24-7.

‘We have been beneath extraordinary stress in a worldwide pandemic and we didn’t actually know what we have been coping with.’

He added: ‘The actual fact he [Mr Johnson] goes spherical thanking his employees for working very, very exhausting, 18 hours a day making an attempt to maintain the present on the street whereas we have been in a worldwide pandemic, shouldn’t be against the law and I don’t suppose it’s one thing he needs to be condemned for and I definitely don’t suppose it’s one thing he ought to resign for – I assist Boris.’

Seizing on Mr Bacon’s remarks, Labour shadow well being secretary Wes Streeting referred to as on the MP to apologise for his ‘grotesque insult’.

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Additionally taking to Twitter, former England ace Gary Lineker raged: ‘Hospitals are actually large buildings. Nurses and docs have been working actually lengthy hours. A few of them, little doubt, left their jobs and, but, in some way nonetheless managed to not have a celebration after work and comply with the foundations that they didn’t truly make’.

One social media person referred to as Mr Bacon’s feedback a ‘poor take of the day’, whereas one other thundered: ‘Disgraceful remark from #RichardBacon MP, an insult to all #NHS employees. I must declare an curiosity as a member of my household works within the NHS, and I discover his feedback sickening, insulting and smug’.

One other added: ‘I’ve by no means been so offended about feedback about our NHS employees then this idiot has been made.’

‘That was a mistake and I apologise for it. Emanuel Gomes labored within the Ministry of Justice.

‘There’s, by the way, a dispute about the reason for Mr Gomes’s loss of life in April 2020 earlier than COVID testing was routine. 

‘The household have been reportedly advised that he had died of COVID however the autopsy recorded a special explanation for loss of life.’

The error got here throughout a stiff interview with Mr Barclay, who took up the Downing Avenue Chief of Workers position earlier this 12 months, changing civil servant Dan Rosenfield.

Whereas taking the MP to activity over the Authorities’s response to yesterday’s Partgate report by Sue Grey, the BBC presenter referenced the loss of life of Mr Gomes. 

He stated: ‘Because of a report in The Critic Journal right this moment, I learnt this morning that one Authorities cleaner, instructed to maintain coming into work throughout lockdown, contracted Covid and died.

‘His identify was Emanuel Gomes. What do you suppose this household, what do you suppose his associates will likely be considering right this moment, if you say to them that the Prime Minister didn’t know that booze was being introduced in in industrial portions so that folks may calm down after work.

Mr Barclay replied: ‘All our hearts will exit to his household simply as a constituency MP I’ve heard many completely distressing tales from my constituents who weren’t capable of attend funerals and who misplaced family members. And it was an extremely fraught time…

However the BBC journalist then interrupted, saying: ‘The purpose on this case was that this man was instructed to work in Downing Avenue and he was surrounded by individuals who have been routinely breaking the foundations, that he was advised to comply with. 

‘Is it ok for you and the Prime Minister to say, to him and others who adopted the foundations, “we didn’t actually know what was happening within the constructing we work in”.

Barclay replied: ‘I feel you might be characterising this as if this was the norm daily always. 

‘We’re speaking a couple of small minority over the course of a two-year interval, usually from time to time when the PM was not within the constructing. In fact, in relation to that particular incident, that could be a heartbreaking case to flag.

‘However I feel you will need to flag that there have been many employees working in Downing Avenue, they labored extremely exhausting getting our vaccine rollout proper, getting the PPE outright.

‘I feel it will be unfair to counsel the actions of a really small minority on a really particular few days have been reflective of the broader effort by way of getting the large choice proper on Covid.’

Mr Gomes, who labored as a cleaner on the Ministry of Justice, died in April 2020 on the top of the primary Covid lockdown.

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Whereas most civil servants had been despatched residence, Mr Gomes and his colleagues have been advised they need to maintain coming in to the MoJ’s central London workplace.

In keeping with members of the family of Mr Gomes, who’s initially from Guinea and been working for cleansing agency OCS since 2018, he felt stress to proceed coming into work.

Boris Johnson (left) and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak at a gathering in the Cabinet Room in 10 Downing Street on his birthday, which has been released with the publication of Sue's Gray report into Downing Street parties during lockdown

Boris Johnson (left) and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak at a gathering within the Cupboard Room in 10 Downing Avenue on his birthday, which has been launched with the publication of Sue’s Grey report into Downing Avenue events throughout lockdown

Sue Grey’s Partygate findings at a look 

  • The report discovered the ‘senior management on the centre, each political and official, should bear accountability’ for the tradition of flouting Covid guidelines 
  • No10 non-public secretary Martin Reynolds was warned {that a} Carry Your Personal Booze occasion on Might 20, 2020 was ‘considerably of a comms threat’. Mr Reynolds remarked afterwards that they appeared to have ‘bought away with it’ 
  • A raucous leaving do on the eve of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral lasted till 4:20am and unfold into the backyard, with the swing utilized by PM’s younger son damaged – though Mr Johnson was not current 
  • There have been a number of examples of ‘unacceptable’ remedy of safety and cleansing employees 
  • Former ethics chief Helen MacNamara offered a karaoke machine for a Cupboard Workplace leaving do on June 18, 2020
  • There was a combat on the occasion on June 18 and somebody was sick 
  • Mr Johnson joined 5 particular advisers in a gathering with ‘meals and alcohol’ in his No11 flat on November 13, 2020, after the announcement of Dominic Cummings’ departure
  • Ms Grey stated she had not appeared into whether or not the so-called ‘Abba Get together’ on that date breached lockdown 
  • Mr Johnson introduced the cheese and wine pictured in a backyard gathering on Might 15 2020 from his flat, though it seems to have been a legitimate work occasion 

Union officers alleged to The Guardian on the time of his loss of life that certainly one of his colleague had been sacked by textual content whereas self-isolating. 

In keeping with the paper, colleagues say Mr Gomes, who lived in a rented property in Plaistow, east London, started to really feel sick with Covid-like signs shortly earlier than his loss of life.

One colleague, Amadou, advised The Guardian: ‘In the previous few days he was actually unwell. He misplaced his urge for food, he had phlegm and he appeared to have a fever. 

‘I helped him residence … by the point we bought to Victoria station he was so sick he didn’t know the place he was.’

Mr Gomes’s loss of life got here at a time when widespread testing had not but been applied. 

The London Ambulance Service and Metropolitan Police formally categorised Mr Gomes’s passing as ‘loss of life as a result of Covid-19’

Nevertheless, in line with Tortoise, his household waited eight weeks earlier than receiving a proper discover from the coroner. 

After a autopsy, a coroner at Walthamstow Coroner’s Court docket recorded Mr Gomes’s loss of life because of hypertension of the guts.

Mr Robinson’s apology comes as yesterday Boris Johnson defended attending sure Downing Avenue lockdown events by saying it was his ‘responsibility’ to attend farewell occasions for colleagues.

Sue Grey’s long-awaited report into lockdown events delivered a scathing verdict on the tradition in No10, saying many occasions ‘mustn’t have been allowed to occur’.

The Prime Minister was challenged by senior Tory MPs yesterday night, who questioned whether or not he ought to lead them into the subsequent common election.

He insisted it was needed to fulfill with departing No10 officers to ‘thank them for his or her service’, whereas including that it was ‘one of many important duties of management’, The Telegraph studies. 

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Johnson publicly stated he had been vindicated over Partygate however he confronted a terse assembly along with his personal MPs on the 1922 Committee – the place loud banging of desks may apparently be heard from the hallways.

In keeping with one Conservative supply, the PM is reported to have stated that Downing Avenue employees weren’t ‘partying as if it was Saturday evening in July in Ibiza, they have been truly working extraordinarily exhausting – flat out’.

The PM stated that, after months of investigations, it was now time to ‘transfer on’ and ‘give attention to the priorities of the British individuals… easing the hardship brought on by the rising prices individuals are dealing with’. 

In a serious assertion of intent, Rishi Sunak will right this moment unveil £10billion of value of residing assist for these most in want. 

The Chancellor’s package deal, partly funded by a windfall tax on the oil and gasoline giants, will embody grants to assist low revenue households with vitality payments, along with assist for the so-called ‘squeezed center’ – probably council tax reductions. 

Johnson (right) at a gathering in the Cabinet Room in 10 Downing Street on his birthday in 2020. The PM said he had been 'vindicated' by the report but faced a meeting with own MPs yesterday evening at the 1922 Committee

Johnson (proper) at a gathering within the Cupboard Room in 10 Downing Avenue on his birthday in 2020. The PM stated he had been ‘vindicated’ by the report however confronted a gathering with personal MPs yesterday night on the 1922 Committee

A snap YouGov poll after the report found 59 per cent of Britons believe Mr Johnson should quit - but just 7 per cent thought that he would do so

A snap YouGov ballot after the report discovered 59 per cent of Britons consider Mr Johnson ought to give up – however simply 7 per cent thought that he would achieve this

Johnson pictured at a gathering in 10 Downing Street for the departure of a special adviser on November 13, 2020.

Johnson pictured at a gathering in 10 Downing Avenue for the departure of a particular adviser on November 13, 2020. 

Addressing MPs on the findings of Miss Grey’s 37-page report, the Prime Minister stated he took full accountability, including: ‘I’ve learnt a lesson.’ 

Mr Johnson advised MPs he had been ‘appalled’ by lurid particulars of unhealthy behaviour by officers at drunken events. However he stated it had been his responsibility to assemble employees to ‘briefly’ attend leaving dos for senior officers working flat out on the pandemic – and he stated this view had been ‘vindicated by the investigation’. 

The PM additionally turned the tables on Sir Keir Starmer, who referred to as on the PM to ‘pack his baggage’, regardless of the very fact he himself is beneath police investigation for an alleged breach of lockdown guidelines. 

In a reference to the Labour chief’s beer and curry occasion with activists in Durham final 12 months, Mr Johnson mocked his opponent as ‘Sir Beer Korma’. 

Mr Johnson’s Tory critics had lengthy seen the publication of the report because the pretext for a coup in opposition to his management. However the lack of recent proof immediately in opposition to him noticed the plot fizzle out. 

One picture confirmed the PM and Chancellor just a few ft aside subsequent to a desk with pitchers of juice and M&S sandwiches. 

The report detailed various occasions that appeared to incorporate clear breaches at lockdown restrictions. 

At a farewell occasion for a senior adviser in June 2020, Miss Grey reported ‘extreme’ alcohol consumption by some, main one official to be sick and others to finish the evening in an ‘altercation’. 

In a press release, the marketing campaign group Covid-19 Bereaved Households for Justice stated: ‘Simply as we’ll always remember being aside from these closest to us while they handed away, or having to carry depressing funerals with solely a handful of individuals, thousands and thousands won’t ever forgive them for the disrespect they’ve proven.’ 

Sir Keir stated the report by Whitehall ethics chief Miss Grey would stand as a monument to hubris and conceitedness.

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