Johnson running scared on a public Covid Inquiry
Ed Davey responded to Johnson's refusal to lay out a timeline for a public inquiry into his Government's response to the coronavirus crisis
"Johnson says there will come a time to learn the lessons of the pandemic, but the public will rightly ask, if not now, then when?"
"The best time to learn lessons and prevent the most deaths is today," claims Ed Davey. "Johnson can't tell us exactly when schools will return safely, can't always tell us when most of the country will be offered a vaccine and can't tell us when the current lockdown will end."
"The UK has suffered terrible COVID death rates. Despite promising an inquiry last year, Johnson has once again refused to commit to a timeline for an independent inquiry. The British people - especially the families of those who have been lost - deserve answers." Just this past week the total of 112,660 deaths with Covid-19 on the death certificate has been reached.
"The Prime Minister's insistence that there will be some definitive end point to the pandemic just isn't borne out by the science and is actively contradicted by his own scientific advisors."
"It looks increasingly as though Johnson is just delaying the inevitable inquiry for his own political ends, because he knows full well just how badly this Government has let the country down."
Meanwhile in other quarters there is growing clamour for a parallel enquiry into the procurement blunders that betray serious failures to apply due diligence, a lack of transparency and a stark absence of due process.
Once these inquiries get under way, there will be the question of who chairs them,. Inquiry chairs tend to lack diversity - typically being old, white and male. Between 1990 and 2017 there have only been six inquiries with a female chair, fewer than the number of inquiries chaired by someone called either Anthony or William. Public inquiries | The Institute for Government