Labour calls for judge-led inquiry to examine Scottish and UK governments’ Covid response

Labour calls for judge-led inquiry to examine Scottish and UK governments’ Covid response

Shadow Scottish Secretary Ian Murray MP has called on the UK government to support a judge-led inquiry into the handling of Covid-19 in Scotland.

At Scotland Questions in the House of Commons, Mr Murray said grieving families deserve answers from both governments after a catalogue of mistakes during the pandemic.

The demand comes after Dominic Cummings revealed details of the UK government’s response to the pandemic, including the Prime Minister describing his own health secretary as “hopeless”.

In Scotland, an FOI revealed emails between civil servants and SNP advisers discussing their strategy of keeping an initial outbreak of Covid-19 in Edinburgh hidden from the public.

Mr Murray’s call for a Scottish specific judge-led inquiry follows Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar’s demand for an urgent inquiry at First Minister’s Questions.

Mr Murray said: “In recent weeks, we have heard scathing criticisms from the Prime Minister’s former chief advisor about the UK government’s Covid response. The failures he exposed no doubt cost lives. 

“We’ve even learned the PM described his Health Secretary as being ‘hopeless’.

“Their dither and delay on securing borders has resulted in restrictions continuing. Sadly, the people of Scotland have also been failed by Scottish government choices.”

He added: “We know from a recent FOI reply that the Scottish chief medical officer advised the Scottish government ‘not to say anything’ in response to the Edinburgh Nike conference outbreak. The Scottish public were kept in the dark costing lives.

“These are just some of the major issues – from border closures and PPE to care homes and testing– where both governments failed at critical moments.

“So the UK government should get behind calls for an urgent separate Scottish judge-led public inquiry into both governments’ management of Covid in Scotland, so we can learn the lessons and grieving families can get the answers they deserve.”

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