March for Change launches petition for public inquiry into government’s coronavirus strategy
PUBLISHED: 13:57 17 April 2020 | UPDATED: 19:23 17 April 2020
Pro-EU group March for Change has launched a petition calling for an inquiry in the government’s handling of the coronavirus.
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Group director Mike Galsworthy reacted to claims that Number 10 was aware the country was ill-prepared for an epidemic as far back as 2016 by launching the online petition yesterday.
In it, Galsworthy has called on leaders across the political divide to commit to a full public review of the government’s response to the coronavirus epidemic.
In a video posted on an associated group’s Facebook page, Galsworthy said: “In October 2016 there was a pandemic simulation which highlighted what that would mean in terms of bodies, in terms of PPE, and in terms of ventilators, and yet our government, this government, did nothing to act on it. That’s why we need a public enquiry now.”
Galsworthy said the UK was on track to become one of the worst affected nations in Europe by the virus, pointing to the rate of deaths per million people. He argued the government had been slow to enforce a lockdown and provide frontline healthcare staff with enough PPE. He also labelled Number 10’s attempts to ramp up testing for the virus a “scandal”.
He said: “Never again can we see our frontline NHS staff trying to take care of themselves and their patients wearing only bin liners and thin surgical masks that do not provide adequate protection when they are in a high risk environment.”
The petition, which needs 100,000 signatures and can be signed here, has already gathered 14,500 names. Expert scientific advisors such as former regional director of public health for Cumbria John Ashton and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine professor Martin McKee have penned their names.
Mike Galsworthy established March for Change - a political pressure group advocating for closer ties with Europe- in 2019. A scientist himself, Galsworthy was the mastermind behind Healthier IN the EU - a grassroots movement calling for the UK to stay in the EU on medical grounds - and is a social commentator.
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