Late British diplomat’s wife tells inquest of husband’s difficult working conditions

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Feb. 14 (UPI) — The widow of a British diplomat working with the government’s coronavirus task force told an inquest Monday that he worked under extreme stress and felt “totally unprotected” from its demands.

Allison Morris testified in the British government’s COVID-19 inquest Monday. Her husband, Richard Morris, served as the ambassador to Nepal and assisted in organizing briefings to ministers during the initial wave of COVID-19 in 2020.

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She said the pandemic and efforts to contain it moved rapidly and the government suffered heavy criticism with each misstep. Richard Morris became “desperate” in his effort to stay on top of his work with no time off.

He was working 15-hour shifts six to seven days away when he went missing from the couple’s home in Bentley on May 6, 2020, leaving his cellphone behind while going on a jog and never returned.

After lengthy searches, his body was found on Aug. 31 in a woodland area nearly three miles away from the home.

Det. Inspector Matthew Gillooly, of Hampshire constabulary, admitted authorities made a mistake the second day of the search by just examining two-thirds of the forest areas assigned and were only 100 meters away from Morris’ body.

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“The job was busy, it was full on,” Allison Morris said, pointing to a time where he worked through the Christmas holiday with no time off, according to The Guardian.

“I think it felt to him he was being told to man up and be more resilient. I think that resilience is a core Foreign Office value. Later on, he said: ‘If I’m not resilient, they will not send me to Fiji,'” she said.