No 10 has carried out a secret ‘lessons learned’ review of its handling of the pandemic but will not publish its findings, it has been claimed.
Civil servants including those from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) have carried out an internal inquiry but the government is refusing to make it available to the public, according to HuffPost.
It comes after Boris Johnson said earlier today that a full inquiry into his government’s actions during the UK’s Covid crisis will begin in spring next year.
When the prime minister’s official spokesman was asked about the existence of an internal review, he told the news site: ‘What you are referring to is an informal, not public-facing work.
‘As you’d expect it’s standard practice for departments to look into ways that they can continually improve.
‘That’s been done previously, it’s been done throughout this pandemic. The government has learned from, as we have gone along, dealing with this novel Coronavirus… on treatments, on diagnostics.’
The prime minister faced backlash after yesterday’s Queen Speech failed to mention a Covid-19 inquiry, despite Mr Johnson ‘promising’ one in June, last year.
Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, an almost 4,000-strong campaigning group, said it was ‘deeply upsetting to see the prime minister do nothing to acknowledge the bereaved in today’s Queen Speech’.
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey urged the prime minister to set up the independent process ‘on behalf of bereaved families across the country’.
Speaking in the Commons this afternoon, the prime minister announced that an inquiry would be held in 2022 and said it would place ‘the state’s actions under the microscope’.
He told MPs: ‘Amid such tragedy, the state has an obligation to examine its actions as rigorously and candidly as possible.’
Founder of Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, Jo Goodman, said the announcement was a ‘huge relief’ but spring 2022 is ‘simply too late to begin’.
More to follow…
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