Dominic Cummings recalls 'deal' made with Boris Johnson
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The Covid pandemic sparked a unique crisis, resulting in millions of deaths worldwide. Death rates and impact on the economy have varied, but the UK has performed poorly. As such, politicians and the public now want an inquiry into the Government’s handling of the crisis. But will they get one?
Will there be an inquiry into the pandemic?
The Government has been on the receiving end of severe criticism since the pandemic arrived last year.
Some people have criticised their response as heavy-handed, while others have criticised slow and ineffective performances.
But ministers have resisted calls for an inquiry into their response, claiming it is “not the right time”.
Labour has now stepped up mounting pressure, calling for the Government to launch an inquiry by the summer.
Rachel Reeves, Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, said the Government’s Covid roadmap should allow an inquiry within the next few months.
Last month, the Prime Minister revealed a timetable which would see lockdown rules – including those on social distancing – scrapped by June 21.
Speaking to The Guardian, Ms Reeves said Parliament should start preparing now.
Ms Reeves’ calls for accountability have come as she and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer speak to families bereaved by Covid.
The meetings, which included people eager to understand what happened to their loved ones, emboldened her calls for accountability.
She said: “Let’s get ready for it now, and from 21 June this inquiry can really get started and use the summer months where we should be better protected, and the vaccine has been rolled out to most adults.”
“It was one of the toughest meetings, with people whose grief was still so raw and recent.”
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Ms Reeves said “amazing” people told her and the Labour leader stories of “terrible loss”.
Those families, she added, need an inquiry to provide a sense of “closure”.
She said: “They want an inquiry because they want to understand what happened and whether anything more could have been done – but also, and I think this is probably the strongest argument, the lessons to be learned, because this is unlikely to be the last virus or disease that comes our way.
“Justice is being denied, and they can’t have closure until they better understand what happened.”
Bereaved families are just one corner of society who want questions answered about the crisis.
Scientists, medical personnel and ethnic minority representatives have joined them.
But the Prime Minister has rejected urgent calls for an investigation, stating now is not the time.
He has said the Government will “learn lessons in due course”, adding there “will be a time to reflect and to prepare for the next pandemic.”
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