Yesterday UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a full and independent statutory inquiry into the COVID pandemic to commence in Spring 2022.
Whilst details surrounding the specifics of the Inquiry have yet to be determined, we now know it will be established with full powers under the Inquiries Act 2005 and will include provision for the production of all relevant materials. Oral evidence will also be taken in public under oath. The devolved administrations of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will be consulted in due course.
Our expectation is an investigation into all key aspects of the UK’s response to the pandemic. The Inquiry may also provide a comparative analysis to other neighbouring countries such as France, Italy and Spain – each of which have had to deal with similar issues throughout. It is also anticipated that the Inquiry will scrutinise the adequacy of healthcare supplies (such as availability of PPE), capacity issues in the NHS, the government’s decisions to impose lockdowns, and the overall social and economic impacts on the UK.
Whilst political opponents to the current government have called for the Inquiry to commence earlier than Spring of next year, it looks like we will have to wait at least another year to unravel the implications of the government’s decision-making and its social, economic and moral consequences for the future.
The government is "fully committed to learning the lessons at every stage" of the pandemic, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.