Boris Johnson has been pushed into promising a full public inquiry into the Government’s handling of Covid and says that one will begin before the end of this parliamentary session. MailOnline has the story.
The Prime Minister firmed up his commitment to an early probe into the crisis as he was grilled by MPs about the Queen’s Speech plans.
Up to now, Mr Johnson has seemed unwilling to give a timetable, pointing out that ministers and officials are focused on the response to the disease.
But Sir Keir Starmer and other opposition parties have insisted that an inquiry should start immediately to learn lessons.
In the Commons, Liberal Democrat Leader Sir Ed Davey urged Mr Johnson to set up an inquiry “on behalf of bereaved families across the country”.
Mr Johnson replied: “I can certainly say that we will do that within this session.” …
“I have made that clear before… I do believe it’s essential we have a full, proper public inquiry into the Covid pandemic.”
Although there is no fixed length for a parliamentary session, they typically run for around a year…
A full public inquiry would be likely to take many years to complete.
To date, most of the calls for an inquiry made by those in the media and political classes have focussed on the idea that the Government was too slow to introduce the first lockdown. Whether or not the inquiry will look at the impact of lockdowns on Covid mortality, other diseases, mental health, education and the economy – as Recovery suggests – has yet to be seen. I won’t be holding my breath.
The MailOnline report is worth reading in full.
Stop Press: The Prime Minister has announced that an independent public inquiry into the Government’s handling of Covid will begin in the spring of next year.
Stop Press 2: Julia Hartley-Brewer has stressed that “the key issue in the public inquiry… must not be whether Boris Johnson locked down too late in spring 2020 but whether he should have locked down *at all*”.