Kate Josephs: Sheffield reacts to ex-Covid taskforce chief and Council CEO's apology for breaking lockdown rules

Hundreds of people have told Sheffield Council’s chief executive of their personal sacrifices during the Covid-19 pandemic after she admitted attended her own leaving drinks when tough lockdown rules were in place.

Friday, 14th January 2022, 8:04 pm

Kate Josephs admitted today that she had attended drinks in the Cabinet Office on December 17, 2020, when London was under tier three restrictions and she was director general of the Cabinet Office Covid Taskforce.

Her statement on Twitter has received hundreds of comments from people. Many told of how they had been unable to see loved ones at the time or how loved ones died without support.

Russell Foster said: “I spent nearly two years in total isolation, with severe overwork and depression, because I followed YOUR RULES. Thankyou so much for showing me that it was a f***ing waste of time.”

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Sheffield City Council chief executive Kate Josephs. Picture: Chris Etchells

Another user, welshcake74, said: “You’re sorry you were found out, it’s unacceptable. My family couldn’t see my mum who was recovering from a stroke. She couldn’t get face to face OT or physio, yet the head of the government Covid response task force wanted a few leaving drinks? No.”

And @Craigthebean said: “My friends 21 yr old daughter committed suicide the day before due to lockdown and lack of mental health support because of COVID. Leaving a 3 yr old behind, she will not be able to hear this apology. Along with thousands of others, resign.”

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Others who commented wrote about the irony of her former role setting Covid rules.

The Steel City Snapper wrote: “You were Director General of the Cabinet Office COVID Taskforce! You of all people should have known better. I didn’t have drinks for my 40th birthday around the same time because I’m a responsible adult. Disappointing.”

Peter Vallelly said: “You were Director General of the Cabinet Office COVID Taskforce. I am letting that sink in. Your ‘apology’ appears v.calculated as its quite clear you were simply due to be outed in the Cabinet Office Investigation. Am not sure that will cut it with the good people of Sheffield.”

And some people suggested ways she could make amends in Sheffield.

Jon Dexter said: “I think either; you help arrange for those in Sheffield who were fined to be refunded, you donate the equivalent of the fine to a Sheffield charity or resign.

“Your apology is welcome and it does seem sincere. But now time is to make amends.”