Tory peer calls for inquiry after saying coronavirus had been handled ‘badly’

PUBLISHED: 13:09 11 June 2020 | UPDATED: 16:57 11 June 2020

Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty, during a media briefing in Downing Street (Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street/Crown Copyright/PA Wire)

Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty, during a media briefing in Downing Street (Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street/Crown Copyright/PA Wire)

Tory peer Matthew Ridley has called for a in-depth inquiry into the government’s handling of the coronavirus epidemic.

Become a Supporter

Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only continue to grow with your support.

The Brexiteer said he feared MPs were covering their involvement in the debacle, urging the government to act.

“[The] problem that we’ve got is that both politicians and scientists are frantically putting stuff out there to help them in a forthcoming inquiry rather than to solve the problem I suspect,” he told Tory-supporting website Conservative Home.

Hereditary Tory peer Matthew Ridley; ParliamentHereditary Tory peer Matthew Ridley; Parliament

Ridley went on to say they had dealt with outbreak “badly”, calling the spread of the virus into hospitals and care homes the “biggest mistake” the government made.

You may also want to watch:

“Our biggest mistake was letting it get into hospitals and care homes and not realising it was spreading within these institutions,” he said. “The wave of deaths has been the people in the care system already mostly, not people coming into it.”

He added: “We’ve misread the epidemic quite badly in epidemiological terms … at an early stage.”

But despite admitting mistakes, the former Northern Rock chair wanted the government to quicken the easing of lockdown, urging ministers to do more to allay public concerns.

He said: “I find it baffling that the government is so reluctant to ease lockdown. It is doing so based on public opinion because it’s finding people are still scared. Well of course they are scared. It’s very easy to scare people, it’s not so easy to unscare them.”

Become a Supporter

Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press with your support. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

Become a supporter

You've seen the news, now discover the story

The New European is committed to providing in-depth analysis of the Brexit process, its implications and progress as well as celebrating European life.

Try 13 weeks for £20

Latest Articles

Most Read

latest issue

ANTI-BREXIT EVENTS

Find your nearest pro-European campaigning activities, talks, protests and events nationwide.