Tag Archives: public enquiry

28 July 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Davey calls for PM to put Martin Forde QC in charge of a Coronavirus Inquiry
  • Davey: PM must take second wave risk seriously
  • Government gaps in support for freelancers leaving employers to pick up the tab
  • Government must apply same human rights standards to US when it comes to exports
  • Dodds: ‘Swansea Tidal Lagoon is a vital part of our post-Covid recovery’
  • Davey calls for PM to put Martin Forde QC in charge of a Coronavirus Inquiry

    Today Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey has written to the Prime Minister with a plan for an immediate inquiry into the coronavirus pandemic.

    Ed has called on the Prime Minister to appoint Martin Forde QC as the chair of an independent coronavirus inquiry and to start work immediately. Martin Forde was the independent adviser on the design of the Government’s Windrush Compensation Scheme and is chair of the independent inquiry into Labour’s report on the party’s handling of antisemitism complaints.

    Ed also released proposed Terms of Reference for the independent inquiry agreed to by the Covid19 Bereaved Families for Justice.

    A spokesperson for the Covid19 Bereaved Families for Justice said:

    Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice are relieved that Ed Davey has seen the urgent need for a rapid inquiry.

    The Government’s own ‘Preparing for a challenging winter 20/21’ report (The Academy of Medical Sciences) predicts over 119,000 excess deaths this winter if urgent action is not taken now.

    That action has to be informed by this transparent inquiry. It’s time the Prime Minister put the well-being of the nation above politics.

    Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

    The Prime Minister confirmed to me weeks ago that there would be an independent inquiry, but we have seen no action from the Government since. Bereaved families I speak to are so disappointed that the Government is yet to begin an inquiry. They just don’t want any more families to go through what they have.

    The coronavirus threat remains very real. Were a second wave to happen during the winter, it could be even more deadly and damaging than the first. The Government must immediately start an inquiry so that we can learn from mistakes and properly plan for a second wave.

    This plan has been agreed by the Covid19 Bereaved Families for Justice. I hope Boris Johnson takes it seriously and sees it as an opportunity to get an inquiry going as soon as possible.

Posted in News and Press releases | Also tagged , , , , , , , , and | 1 Comment

Do we really think that a Public Enquiry is the answer?

For obvious reasons there are repeated calls for either a Public Enquiry or a Royal Commission to examine what has happened in terms of the Government’s response to Coronavirus, starting from 2016 when they chose to make little of a pandemic planning exercise right up to when we might consider at least the first part of the coronavirus pandemic under control.

I have absolutely no doubt that there needs to be a speedy and effective review of what has happened. Mistakes have been made. Some of them have been political ones and some of them in terms of the advice given by professional staff such as behavioural scientists, public health and health service officials. Beyond that there are questions to be asked about how the Government has responded in terms of transport, business, the voluntary and community sectors as well as others. Those need to be left aside to begin with. Mistakes there will largely have been made because of problems within the health activities which must be the prime focus of enquiry.

I think that a formal enquiry would be a bad idea. Let’s just look at the outputs and outcomes of the relatively recently Levenson enquiry into the press excesses. This was not a great success. The first enquiry took about two years. It cost a fortune. It was adversarial with a range of people and organisations hiring barristers and seeking to defend their actions rather than get at the truth of what happened. There was supposed to be a second enquiry which never happened.

Above all there were little real world outputs from the enquiry that did take place. The only reason that there have been minimal improvements in the honesty of the press, and there were only modest improvements, was the worries that the media had over compensation payments. A toothless industry controlled watch dog was put in place which hasn’t barked but purred when there have been transgression reported.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 13 Comments
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