A bereaved 18-year-old son has said an apology from Dominic Cummings about the Government’s handling of the pandemic “isn’t going to cut it”.
The Prime Minister’s former adviser said tens of thousands of people died unnecessarily because of the Government’s failings over coronavirus.
Speaking to MPs on Wednesday, Mr Cummings apologised, saying that ministers, officials and advisers had fallen “disastrously short” of the standards they should expect in a crisis.
Bereaved family members, including a wife, son and daughter, said listening to Mr Cummings’ testimony was “horrific”.
“I believe Cummings apologised but an apology isn’t going to cut it, they need to do much better,” Mert Dogus, 18, told the PA news agency.
His father, cab driver Haci Ali Dogus, 49, died in March 2020 after contracting the virus, leaving behind his wife and two sons.
“The fact that Boris (Johnson) was on holiday around this time as well and not taking it seriously is shockingly unprofessional,” Mr Dogus said.
“(Hearing what Mr Cummings said) makes me feel like the Government doesn’t care about us unless we contribute a lot to the economy.
“It shows that my family and I have to take initiative to these dangerous situations to protect ourselves and our community – because the Government fails to do so.”
Fran Hall, who lost her husband to Covid last year, said she had heard Mr Cummings “spell out what we all feared” and called for a public inquiry to begin as soon as possible.
The 60-year-old’s long-term partner Steve Mead, 65, died just three weeks after the couple were married in 2020.
“According to Dominic Cummings today, the Prime Minister had been advised to bring in a lockdown in September, and he refused,” Ms Hall, from Buckinghamshire, told PA.
“Perhaps, if he had done so, Steve would still be here.
“It has been a deeply difficult experience hearing Dominic Cummings spell out what we all feared.
“Mr Cummings stated more than once today that tens of thousands of people died who didn’t need to die, and that the deaths were a result of inaction or decisions taken too late… this is a horrific thing to hear.
“Hearing such serious allegations made, without there being any consequences – other than scandalised media headlines for a few days – just adds to the unbearable pain felt by us, the bereaved families left behind.”
Ms Hall is a member of Covid-19 Bereaved Families For Justice, who earlier said Wednesday was a “horrible, upsetting and bleak day for over 150,000 families across the country”.
Another member, Safiah Ngah, lost her father Zahari Ngah, 68, to coronavirus in February – she described him as a “wonderful, exceptional person”.
“It was pretty heartbreaking to hear a lot of (what Mr Cummings said),” the 28-year-old told PA.
“The Government, the people who should have been protecting this country, were calling for bodies to pile up in the corridors… my dad was one of those bodies – it’s just disgusting.
“I don’t think any of the information that he revealed was particularly surprising – we all know the Government have been chasing their tail throughout all the lockdowns.
“At least now we have the evidence we need, and hopefully Cummings will provide evidence so that people can be held responsible.”
Ms Ngah said politicians like the Prime Minister and Matt Hancock “should face the consequences of their actions”.
A bereaved daughter called Meredith, who did not wish to share her surname, said she does not want Mr Cummings “looking like the good guy”.
“He’s not (the good guy). He absolutely failed and shouldn’t have been in the position he was – he’s right on that front, it’s crackers,” the 32-year-old from Cumbria, whose father died after contracting Covid-19 while in hospital in January, told PA.
“He didn’t do the right thing. Instead he propped up Boris Johnson throughout the pandemic while at the same time making a mockery of the system he devised.
“I’m so angry I feel ill. My father is dead and I know he didn’t have to die like that. It wasn’t inevitable… it’s down to the decisions of people like (Boris) Johnson, (Dominic) Cummings, (Matt) Hancock, and (Sir Keir) Starmer.
“There’s no point scoring, no joy to be had from any of this. It’s done. People are dead.”