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Nurse starts petition demanding PM resign over lockdown parties

Matthew Tovey, who worked on NHS front line during lockdowns, is angry that Boris Johnson broke rules while he and other nurses worked to keep people safe
Matthew Tovey wearing personal protective equipment

Matthew Tovey, who worked on NHS front line during lockdowns, is angry that Boris Johnson broke rules while he and other nurses worked to keep people safe

A petition launched by a nurse calling for the resignation of Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak gathered more than 380,000 signatures in the first 48 hours.

Matthew Tovey, who worked on the NHS front line during the COVID-19 lockdowns, launched the petition on Tuesday calling for the prime minster and chancellor to step down after they were issued with fixed penalty notices by police for

Matthew Tovey, who worked on NHS front line during lockdowns, is angry that Boris Johnson broke rules while he and other nurses worked to keep people safe

Matthew Tovey wearing personal protective equipment
Matthew Tovey wearing personal protective equipment

A petition launched by a nurse calling for the resignation of Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak gathered more than 380,000 signatures in the first 48 hours.

Matthew Tovey, who worked on the NHS front line during the COVID-19 lockdowns, launched the petition on Tuesday calling for the prime minster and chancellor to step down after they were issued with fixed penalty notices by police for attending parties at Downing Street in June last year.

Mr Tovey said he was so angered and sickened by the government’s rule breaking and subsequent lies to parliament that he decided to act.

‘It makes me feel physically sick that they can walk around and act like their rule breaking will have no consequences. We worked hard to keep the public safe while they partied and laughed,’ Mr Tovey, who works as a nurse in Wales, told Nursing Standard.

The fines come as the Metropolitan Police investigate a string of illegal parties held in and around Downing Street between May 2020 and June 2021. Twelve parties are being investigated and more than 50 fines have already been issued.

Mr Tovey, who worked in acute medicine during the pandemic and has since moved to primary care, said that while Mr Johnson and his aides were attending parties, he and his colleagues were working tirelessly to save lives.

He added: ‘Partygate makes me feel angry. Angry that we as nurses sacrificed so much while people in power had no regard for the rules they put in place. In May 2020 my colleagues and I were struggling to save lives. There were too many patients and nowhere near enough staff.

Working in Downing Street 'not more stressful than front-line nursing'

‘Boris Johnson has said that Downing Street was full of “people working phenomenally hard under phenomenal strain”. I do not believe that in 2020 their jobs were more stressful than our jobs, on the front lines. I do not understand why this means they were allowed to break the rules while myself and my colleagues worked hard to keep people safe.’

Signatories to Mr Tovey’s petition are required to state their country of residence but not their occupation, so it is not known how many nurses have signed.

It comes as RCN general secretary Pat Cullen wrote to Tory MP Michael Fabricant on behalf of the nursing workforce after he claimed on BBC News that nurses were drinking in staff rooms after their shifts ended during lockdown. She called his claims ‘factually incorrect’ and ‘utterly demoralising’.

Commenting on Mr Fabricant’s remarks, Mr Tovey added: ‘I don't know what planet he is on. We were not allowed to sit together on breaks, we sat alone behind Perspex and ate food alone.’


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