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Journalist reveals wife died on night of Johnson’s cheese and wine ‘meeting’

JP Asher 1A regional journalist has opened up about his wife’s death in a hospice on the night the infamous Downing Street cheese and wine photograph was taken.

JP Asher, who works for the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star, spoke out after the picture of the May 15 gathering – defended by No 10 as a ‘work meeting’ – surfaced in the media.

Posting on Twitter, JP explained how that evening he was alone in a hospice room with his cancer-stricken wife who had to say goodbye to their two small children one at a time.

His account was shared thousands of times on the social media site, prompting other Twitter users to wish him and his family well.

JP, pictured, wrote: “On 15 May last year, I was alone in a hospice room with my cancer-stricken wife, a young mother who, due to Covid restrictions, had had to have goodbye visits from our two small children one at a time.

“She died in the night a few hours after this photograph was taken.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is among those pictured in the photo, along with his wife Carrie, while groups of people talking and drinking are also seen around the Number 10 garden.

Rules at the time allowed just two people from different households to meet outside in a socially-distanced manner.

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab defended those in the image earlier this week, telling ITV it was “uncharitable” of people to criticise Mr and Mrs Johnson for enjoying cheese and wine with aides after a “busy day”.

The picture came to light amid the ongoing controversy over a party held in Downing Street on 18 December last year which is now under investigation by a senior civil servant.

Responding to those who had wished him and his family well after his initial post, JP added: “The kids are absolute stars and such happy children.

“As I always tell them, their mum wouldn’t want us just to be sad – she’d want us to smile and have a nice day together. So that’s what we do. Happy Christmas.”