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Boris Johnson’s apology was ‘a load of old waffle and I don’t believe it’, says Somerset care home resident

At the Court House Retirement Home in Cheddar in Somerset, they know more than most about sacrifice and living under lockdown.

For the residents, 20 May 2020 was a time of not seeing friends and loved ones.

And as they gathered in the home’s lounge area to watch Boris Johnson’s qualified apology at Prime Minister’s Questions they could only register disgust.

Margaret Blakemore, 81, was absolutely clear what she thought of his performance now and back in May 2020.

She said: “It was just a load of old waffle and I don’t think it was the truth at all I’m afraid, I don’t believe it.

“I think it’s a disgrace and he is certainly no shining light to our country.”

Ronald Foster, 92, was equally unimpressed.

He said: “He just seems to think that he can do just what he wants and say I’m sorry and that’s it but that doesn’t do for me and it doesn’t do for a lot of people.”

‘Big sacrifice’

Back then, in that month, which is now the focus of such scrutiny, the owner of the care home was also going beyond the call of duty.

Christopher Dando moved into one of the rooms at the home, leaving his own young family behind, to make sure the home remained COVID secure.

He said: “20 May – you can take yourself back there – I looked at my diary I could see how much my wife is struggling, how much I was tussling with staying here looking after the residents, or should I go home and support my family, it was a big sacrifice.

“Personally I think that Mr Johnson should resign. In every walk of life, you have to lead example and he has not been leading by example.”

Many valuable moments missed

Marilyn Cass’s parents, Lal and Garrett, both moved into the home in February 2020.

Her father died not long after, and because of lockdown she missed many valuable moments at the end of his life.

She said: “A lot of people lost their lives during that time and I feel very sad for them actually because you don’t have quality time with your family when they’re old.

“My father only had six months here before he died so we lost at least four months of that which would’ve been quality time with him.”

For most, 20 May is a day they remember for what they were not allowed to do.

The prime minister may have given an apology of sorts but in a nation that is still suffering during what feels like an unending pandemic they sounded like empty words.

People across the country are unlikely to forget and perhaps more importantly forgive.



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