More than 20,000 Brits call for changes to Covid inquiry after Partygate omission

The inquiry is working through tens of thousands of contributions from members of the public on what the inquiry will and will not take into account – but Boris Johnson will have the final say

Around 20,000 Brits have called for changes to plans for the public inquiry into Covid-19.

It comes after activists were furious over the draft list of what will and will not be covered by the inquiry.

Partygate and the impact of the pandemic on mental health and people with disabilities were not mentioned in the proposed list of topics released last month.

And Boris Johnson will have the final say on which subjects the inquiry will cover.

Labor leader Keir Starmer wrote for the Sunday Mirror: “Boris Johnson is the first sitting Prime Minister to break the law. But he brazenly clings to the office he has so shamelessly abused.

“He’s taking his disrespect for the public to new depths. No wonder 20,000 Brits want answers.”

Care Campaign for the Vulnerable – one of the first organizations to call for a public inquiry into the handling of care homes during the pandemic – criticized the absence of partygate.

Founder and Director Jayne Connery said: “We’ve seen firsthand in supporting families the anguish endured when they were told they couldn’t visit elderly loved ones in care homes – and two years later families are now officially being diagnosed with mental health issues including PTSD.

“The Partygate fiasco only adds to the pain and heartache families felt when the government failed to understand the impact of its ‘guidance’ for care homes during the pandemic on our most vulnerable elderly.

“The prime minister’s choice of what can and cannot be investigated in the forthcoming public inquiry is certainly not what we would like – particularly after the prime minister and his supporters have not been transparent about their own rule-breaking.”

Baroness Hallett is leading the investigation


(Getty Images)

Lobby Akinnola lost his 60-year-old father, Olufemi “Femi’ Akinnola, a Mencap support worker, to Covid-19 in April 2020.

The 30-year-old, a member of Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, said: “It’s not surprising when, after sacrificing so much during the pandemic, people across the country want the Partygate scandal to be investigated and in the Scope of the Covid investigation is included.

“We have already requested that the inquiry cover all public health news and actions that have undermined that news and it is hard to imagine that breaches of the law by ministers and government officials could not affect this and cost lives.”

Under the plan proposed by the Prime Minister, the inquiry would look at how the UK was prepared for a pandemic, public health responses, how the health and care sector were dealing with it and the government’s economic response.

The inquiry, led by Crossbench peer Baroness Hallett, asked the public to comment on the proposed “reference conditions” – and tens of thousands responded in just four weeks.

Investigators are busy analyzing the responses and will publish their recommendations for changing the terms of reference next month.

Announcing the conclusion of the consultation last week, Baroness Hallett said: “I hope to present my final recommendations on the mandate of the UK’s Covid-19 inquiry to the Prime Minister in May. He will then make his final decision on the service description. Once I have his decision, the investigation will formally begin.

“In the meantime, my team and I are working hard to analyze the many issues that the investigation needs to cover and create a plan for how we plan to work and gather evidence.”

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Fry Electronics Team

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