New bill challenges MPs to back independent coronavirus inquiry

PUBLISHED: 12:47 22 July 2020 | UPDATED: 12:51 22 July 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street in an archive picture. Photograph: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street in an archive picture. Photograph: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire.

A new bill to be presented to the House of Commons before the summer recess will call on MPs to support the launch of an independent inquiry into the government’s roronavirus response before a possible second spike this winter.

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Acting leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey last week managed to secure an assurance from prime minister Boris Johnson that an inquiry would take place, but now the MP wants the government to go further by setting out a timetable to ensure lessons are quickly learned.

The coronavirus inquiry bill will “require the prime minister to establish a statutory inquiry into the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic”.

It will urge the prime minister to establish the inquiry within the period of one month of the act passing, and that it must report no later than December 2021.

Announcing the bill, Davey said: “Boris Johnson has tried to blame care workers, civil servants and other ministers over the past few months for his chaotic handling of the coronavirus crisis, but refuses to take any accountability himself.


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“We have got one of the worst death rates in the world and the worst death rate of health and care workers in Europe. It has been a tragedy for so many families and they deserve answers.

“That is why I am calling for an independent inquiry, we must learn the lessons, so that we can avoid a second wave and make sure the same mistakes are never repeated.”

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