Barbara Windsor’s husband has blasted Boris Johnson for betraying the late star after Alzheimer’s funding plunged.
Grieving Scott Mitchell said the PM had failed to deliver on a Tory election vow to double cash to fight dementia.
Mr Johnson had also told the actress – who died last month aged 83 – that he would “do my best for you” when she delivered an open letter from the Alzheimer’s Society to No10 in 2019.
It called on the Government to provide better dementia care.
But Scott, 58, hit out after the Sunday Mirror uncovered figures showing funding for the illness had almost halved in the last three years.
“It’s disappointing to see the Government is not doing more for people affected, despite the promises he made to me and Barbara in 2019,” he said.
Should Boris pay up despite the pandemic? Have your say in comments below…
Back then, the Conservatives were chasing votes by pledging to put an extra £83million a year into dementia research over the next decade, doubling the total spend to £166million.
The move – dubbed the “Dementia Moonshot” – was described by the party as the “largest boost to dementia research ever” in the UK.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the money would be used to find a cure for the disease. But it has not happened.
Alzheimer’s Research UK has revealed that in 2018-19, money to fight the condition fell to £27.7million from £49million the previous year. Then it dwindled to £22million last year.
Since losing his beloved actress wife, Scott has helped raise almost £160,000 for the charity through a crowdfunder – but he insists more must be done.
He said: “While I fully understand the Government has had to prioritise dealing with the pandemic – and my heart goes out to every person affected by the virus – we cannot lose sight of the need to find life-changing treatments for people affected by dementia.
“It is one of the UK’s leading causes of death, and will continue to be so without greater research investment.
“While we knew nothing could be done to save Barbara from this cruel condition, we were passionate about making sure action would be taken to save other families from the heartbreak it causes.
“I worry we are moving backwards, rather than forwards.
“More than a year ago, the Government promised to double its funding for dementia research yet we have seen no further commitment to this pledge.
“So I’m asking people to sign Alzheimer’s Research UK’s petition calling on the Government to deliver on its promise.”
Scott’s powerful call was echoed by former Home Secretary David Blunkett.
He said: “I agree entirely with Scott. We are up against it under Covid, but it is even harder for those who look after someone with Alzheimer’s.
“It is frustrating when resources promised are not there to help with the problem.
“This affects so many people like Scott, trying to help and support others while managing your own life.”
EastEnders star Barbara went public with her condition in 2018, four years after she was diagnosed.
The same year, she appeared in a campaign video to raise funds and change attitudes about the condition.
Barbara had several meetings with Boris Johnson about funding, and her former co-stars in the BBC soap joined Scott to raise over £150,000 by running the London Marathon.
But despite big support, the pandemic has caused the charity’s income to plummet.
Nearly a million Brits live with dementia, and it is thought to cost the economy about £26billion a year.
Susan Mitchell, of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “Funding has never been more urgent.
“Families like Scott’s are being torn apart by this condition.
“Two-thirds of people living with dementia have Alzheimer’s, so the news research funding for this disease has dropped is a blow.
“The Government funds about £83million of dementia research a year – simply not enough.
“We must see a much greater investment to offer people the hope they deserve.”
Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, shadow mental health minister, said: “It is absolutely crucial that people with Alzheimer’s can access the care they need.
“Over a year after their election pledge to support those with dementia, the Government have failed to make good on their promises.
“Our families deserves better.”
Shadow health minister Justin Madders said: “Sadly this is another example of a promise not being kept by Boris Johnson for which there can be no excuse.
“This will come as a huge disappointment to those families who have had to deal with the devastating consequences of Alzheimer’s.
“It is time the Prime Minister kept his promise and matched his words with action.”
A Health Department spokesman said: “We have already spent £341million on dementia research between 2015 and 2019, and have provided over £515,000 for Alzheimer’s Society to support their Dementia Connect programme.”
You can sign the petition by visiting alzres.uk/sign-our-petition