Vote Leave board member and Boris Johnson ally offers to lead coronavirus inquiry

PUBLISHED: 15:09 24 June 2020 | UPDATED: 15:09 24 June 2020

Bernard Jenkin appears on Politics Live. Photograph: BBC.

Bernard Jenkin appears on Politics Live. Photograph: BBC.

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An ally of Boris Johnson, and a former Vote Leave board member, has offered to lead an inquiry into the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Tory MP Bernard Jenkin, who caused a stir when he was appointed chair of the all-important Commons scrutiny committee, appeared on Politics Live with support for holding an investigation.

He said: “I think a very important development is the open letter in the British Medical Journal, from the health leaders saying let’s have an inquiry now to learn the lessons of what’s happened over the last few months, so that we are better prepared if there is another peak.


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“I think there should be an inquiry and maybe they want the politicians to be involved, they wanted the cross-party, and four nations.”

But he dismissed the suggestion it should be fully independent, instead pointing to the example of the inquiry into banking standards.

He continued: “Maybe it should be like the banking standards commission that Andrew Tyrie chaired in parliament after the banking crisis or maybe the liaison committee which I chair to conduct such an inquiry.”

On the suggestion he was angling for an inquiry to be led by himself and his own committee, he said: “It will be up to the government to decide how they want to conduct this inquiry but we do need a public lessons learning exercise now in order to be better prepared for what’s in the future and for the public to have confidence that the government will be better prepared so we can learn the lessons that clearly should have been learnt which the opposition is entitled to ask about.”

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