A woman has told of her heartbreak of not being allowed to hold her mum's hand as her life support was turned off - while politicians were partying at Downing Street.

Marina Blyth has spoken of her disgust days after the Partygate docudrama aired on Channel 4, portraying the story of Covid from inside 10 Downing Street as staff kicked back at lockdown-breaching parties singing karaoke and smuggling in suitcases of wine.

The Bridport woman said it has 'brought to light' the 'mockery' of politicians partying while people like her mother were dying alone of Covid. 

Marina's mother, local artist Marianne Simmonds, 83, was admitted to Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester in January 2021 with a broken hip.

She caught Covid in the hospital and died in the same month.

Her devastated daughter was never able to say a final goodbye in person. 

She was only able to make one-hour video calls to her mum, which Mrs Simmonds ‘couldn’t take part in’ due to her condition and her dementia, which made it extremely difficult to understand what was going on.

Music teacher Marina said her final goodbye to her mum through a video call. 

Marina said: “When the total lockdown came up, there was only one person speaking to my mum which was me and it was only for one hour and she was on her death bed.

“Within that hour I had a video call which she couldn’t take part in, but the nurses were incredible.”

The last and only time Marina saw her mother in hospital was when she had to make the decision to turn off her life support machine.

Mrs Simmonds died 10 days later. 

Marina said: “What killed her was Covid - It was horrendous when I went up to say our final goodbye - she was out of it and could only mumble.

Dorset Echo: Marianne SimmondsMarianne Simmonds (Image: Marina Blyth)

“The nurse came up to me after and said 'we have done everything that we can, it’s time to turn off her life support. There wasn’t any time.

“I had to make the decision there and then and then I had to leave, and I couldn’t even hold her hand while they turned off her life support.”

Marina even got so desperate during this time that she ‘tried to sneak in’ to the hospital to see her mother.

She said: “I got stopped by a doctor with tears in his eyes.”

Marina had nothing but praise for the NHS staff working tirelessly to help her mother and other patients.

She said: “There was Covid in the hospitals and the doctors were nearly in tears - the main nurse was distraught. They were working as hard as they could.

“There are some amazing people out there. When my dad went into hospital with Covid I even volunteered at the hospital.

“The pressure is unreal – they should be paid more than politicians.”

Dorset Echo: Marina (in purple) with her hands on the shoulders of her mother MarianneMarina (in purple) with her hands on the shoulders of her mother Marianne (Image: Marina Blyth)

More than two years on from the anguish of knowing her mother died alone, Marina said the Partygate docudrama has 'brought to light' the government's flouting of lockdown rules. 

She said: “I initially thought they had a party and so what, and I didn’t pay much attention.

“I just happened to turn it on and there it was. I found myself captivated. It brought to light what was happening at that moment in time. It’s such a mockery.

“It’s traumatic to let a loved one die on their own for them and their family. It’s just unreal that at this time the government were having all these parties.

“More compassion is needed within the government – people were dying on their own.”