Sky host Trevor Phillips breaks down over death of daughter during lockdown as he grills MP over No10 party

VETERAN broadcaster Trevor Phillips broke down this morning as he discussed his daughter's death while grilling a top politician over lockdown parties.

Freelance journalist Sushila Phillips, 36, died in April 2021 following a 22-year struggle with anorexia.


She collapsed on the night of Prince Philip's funeral, when the Queen sat alone as she obeyed strict Covid rules.

The evening before the service, April 16 2021, two boozy parties took place at Downing Street.

Neither were attended by Boris Johnson, although the PM has admitted attendinga gathering during the first lockdown.

He has since apologised to Her Majesty and civil servant Sue Gray has launched an inquiry.

Mr Phillips called the Government "shameful" during a deeply moving interview with Conservative Party chairman Oliver Dowden this morning.

"It was shameful – right? Just shameful," he said.

Mr Dowden replied: "Yes, it was completely unacceptable."

BROADCASTER'S TEARS

"Unacceptable is a political word. It was shameful," Mr Phillips said.

"That week, I saw my two daughters outside at various times. One was pregnant and one was very ill.

"Their mother, stepmother and I weren't allowed to meet them together. We all stuck to the spirit and the letter of the rules.

"On Saturday, after watching the funeral of Prince Philip, I went to one of my friend's 70th birthday parties. He hired a tent for just six of us so we could sit outside – he stuck to the spirit and the letter of the rules.

"At dinner I get a call. My daughter's collapsed.

"As you will know, for months she'd been isolated, she was ill.

"By the following morning she had died, and she had stuck to the spirit and letter of the rules."

MOVING INTERVIEW

His voice broke and he battled back tears as he told the MP there are "thousands of people who have that story".

"If I may say so, you are in here telling me about a civil servant's inquiry. That will not answer that anger. Does the Prime Minister really understand why people are angry?" he asked.

Mr Dowden, who listened quietly, replied: "I know how much you've suffered during this period, and I know how much so many people in this country have suffered.

"The privations that they have been subject to, the steadfastness with which people obeyed the rules, and it is totally wrong if there has been any way those rules have not been fully obeyed in Downing Street."

He earlier admitted he was "angered" with the parties – but backs Mr Johnson to remain in the top job.

'IT WAS TOTALLY WRONG'

"It was totally wrong, the events that happened, and it is absolutely right the Prime Minister apologised and takes further steps," he said.

"I'm angry about what happened, the PM is angry, it should not have happened.

"There needs to be change in culture."

But Mr Phillips said one of the events on May 20 2020 had happened just an hour after Mr Dowden made a statement about restrictions to the nation.

"[Mr Johnson] has made an absolute mug of you personally. How can you defend this?" the broadcaster asked.

"I'm not seeking to defend this and nor is the Prime Minister," Mr Dowden replied.

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"He gave a sincere apology for what happened.

"It should not have happened and that was a failure and he has, in credit to the Prime Minister, owned up to that.

"The question is, how we go broader than just this and look at wider cultural issues."


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