Question Time audience member hits out at ‘farce’ 3-year Covid inquiry

Question Time: Audience member on Covid Inquiry farce

A Question Time audience member fears the UK will not be ready for the next pandemic because of the time taken to complete the Covid-19 inquiry.

He raised the issue on the programme because the probe into the UK’s handling of the health crisis will not be complete until 2026.

The man said: “Sweden managed to get through an interim review quite quickly.

“What I’d like to know is did lockdown work? What parts of it did work and what parts of it didn’t work?

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“What would we change next time? We’d been running furlough. Did it work or didn’t it? There was also the Eat Out to Help Out.

“Lord Frost called it the closest thing to a war a couple of days ago. We weren’t prepared. People were running around. People have got to get rid of this blame because if this blame is going to go on for the next three and a half years, we’ll get nothing out of it.

“The Chilcot Inquiry took six years. The Saville Report took 12 years. We’ve got to get to the point where people understand if it happens again, we’re ready. The way it’s going on, that ain’t gonna happen.”

Labour’s Nick Thomas-Symonds told the programme that the Covid Inquiry highlights a “shameful episode” in history

He said: “The Prime Minister at the time was making comments almost recklessly, carelessly about the lives of older people”.

The inquiry will be split into six areas, with the first looking at whether the UK was adequately prepared for the pandemic.

This phase of the Covid inquiry is looking at Government decision-making, with more witnesses scheduled to appear next week.

Boris Johnson blamed “bed blocking” in the NHS for locking down the country as Covid took hold, the public inquiry heard on Thursday.

Lady Hallett’s probe also heard claims that former health secretary Matt Hancock wanted to decide who should live and who should die if hospitals became overwhelmed by coronavirus patients.

Interim reports are scheduled to be published before public hearings conclude by summer 2026.

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