politics

Pressure mounts on Boris Johnson to hold Covid inquiry this year


P

ressure mounted on Boris Johnson to speed up the official inquiry in to the Coronavirus pandemic as a senior Conservative MP and doctor joined cross-party demands for it to launch no later than this autumn.

Dr Dan Poulter told the Evening Standard that lessons must be learned quickly because another pandemic is inevitable and Britain cannot afford to delay the lessons learned.

The former Junior Health Minister, a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus, said the inquiry should start work this autumn and be ordered to report no later than a year or 18 months.

“Given this is unlikely to be the only pandemic we face in our lifetimes, preparedness is important,” said the Central Suffolk & North Ipswich MP.

“Some other inquiries, like the one into the Iraq war, have dragged on for years, but we can’t afford to wait that long to learn lessons from this pandemic.

“It should report back in a year to 18 months at most because it is imperative that we are ready for the next one.

“We do not have the luxury of time to wait five or six years for the report.”

The Prime Minster confirmed earlier this month that there will be an inquiry but not until next spring.

The Government continued to resist calls from across the Commons to bring it forward.  Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick told LBC on Thursday morning: “There will come a time next year in the public inquiry where all of us who’ve been involved in this will lay out events as clearly and honestly as we can.”

Labour’s shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth told the Standard people could not wait that long for the serious allegations made by Dominic Cummings to be investigated.



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