'Prime Minister should resign' over unlawful failure to protect care homes from Covid

Cathy Gardner with her father, Michael Gibson. Picture: Supplied by Cathy Gardner

Cathy Gardner with her father, Michael Gibson. Picture: Supplied by Cathy Gardner - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth’s Cathy Gardner, who today won her legal case against the Government over Covid deaths in care homes, is calling for Boris Johnson to resign. 

The High Court has ruled that the Government acted unlawfully by failing to protect more than 20,000 elderly or disabled care home residents who died after contracting Covid-19. 

Dr Gardner, whose father died of ‘probable Covid’ in a care home in April 2020, launched her legal action against the Government shortly afterwards, challenging its claim that there had been a ‘protective ring’ around care homes. She was later joined by another woman, Fay Harris, whose father also died of Covid in a care home. 

Today, two years later, she has been vindicated. The judges described the policy of discharging hospital patients back into care homes without a period of isolation as ‘irrational’, as it failed to take into account the risk of asymptomatic transmission of the virus. 

Dr Gardner said the ruling is a victory not only for her, but for all the bereaved relatives. 

She said she felt ‘huge relief’ at the result  - but is appalled that Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the former Health Secretary Matt Hancock are still refusing to take responsibility for the deaths. 

She said: “It’s absolutely disgusting that they’re still trying to deny that they did anything wrong. They need to read the ruling, the ruling is very clear, and the Secretary of State was the decision maker, he was the responsible person, the defence team actually stated that.” 

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“Boris Johnson should resign. He was supposed to have been in charge, and he also keeps saying they did everything they could – well, we have known all along that they didn’t, it was so obvious right from the start that they didn’t do everything they could have done.” 

Thousands of people backed Dr Gardner in her case against the Government by donating towards her legal costs through the CrowdJustice site, and today she thanked them all. 

She said: “I’m so grateful for all of the messages of support I’ve had, the support from other bereaved relatives, and for everybody who donated, because without their help, donations small and large, I couldn’t have done it.  

“And I did it for all of those bereaved, it was never just about me and my father, it was for everybody affected, and this should be a good day for them too.  

“We knew that we were right, but it’s good to have that endorsed.” 

Read more about the ruling here: The Government broke the law - Sidmouth woman wins High Court case