Public Inquiry into Government’s Handling of Covid Should Be Launched “as Soon as Possible”, Says Lord Fowler

Pressure is building on the Prime Minister to launch a public inquiry into his Government’s handling of Covid, as the outgoing Lord Speaker said a probe should take place before “memories fade”. Lord Fowler’s concern, predictably enough, is that the first lockdown might not have been implemented soon enough. MailOnline has the story.

The outgoing Lord Speaker has piled the pressure on Boris Johnson to launch a formal public inquiry into the Government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis. 

Lord Fowler, who is stepping down today after five years in the role, said a probe should be held “as soon as possible” and before “memories fade”. 

Lord Fowler, who served as Tory health secretary between 1981 and 1987 in Margaret Thatcher’s Government, said the inquiry should be “automatic” and should focus on whether there was a “delay” to announcing the first lockdown last March.

The peer is the latest high profile figure to call on the Prime Minister to launch the inquiry after Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said the same earlier this month. 

Mr Johnson has committed to holding a probe into the crisis but he is yet to set out a timetable for it to begin…

He had originally committed to a public inquiry last July, telling the House of Commons: “As I have told the House several times, I do not believe that now in the middle of combatting still as we are a pandemic, is the right moment to devote huge amounts of official time to an inquiry.”

Lord Fowler – quoted in the MailOnline report – told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme that he supports those who believe the first lockdown should have been introduced earlier rather than those who are sceptical of the alleged benefits of lockdowns.

I think that what concerns me is that I would support those who are saying that there should be an inquiry into the early stages of whether there was a delay in the lockdown.

Because if there was we would want to know why and if it was in the face of medical advice then that is quite a hurdle because I think that politicians need to be guided by the best medical advice in positions of this kind. 

So I would back an inquiry into this area. Incidentally, inquiries of this kind should be automatic. 

But what I also think is that the inquiry should take place as soon as possible. 

Worth reading in full.

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