A “full, proper” public inquiry into the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic could be established within a year, Boris Johnson has said.
The prime minister committed to setting up the inquiry within the new session of parliament which started on Tuesday.
Although there is no fixed length for a parliamentary session, they typically run for around a year.
“I can certainly say that we will do that within this session,” the prime minister told MPs in the House.
“I have made that clear before… I do believe it’s essential we have a full, proper public inquiry into the Covid pandemic.”
Johnson was responding in the Commons to a question from Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey, who urged him to set up the inquiry “on behalf of bereaved families across the country”.
Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner said: “We welcome this commitment and will hold the prime minister to it.
“It must be entirely open and truly independent, have the trust and confidence of bereaved families, and cannot be an exercise in the government marking its own homework.
“We went into this pandemic with the foundations of our public services and our communities weakened by a decade of Conservative governments.
“We must learn lessons from that, as well as from how the crisis has been handled.”