'Simply too late' - Norwich woman's reaction to plans for Covid inquiry

Jo Goodman with her father Stuart Goodman who died in Norwich in April after contracting coronavirus

Jo Goodman with her father Stuart Goodman who died in Norwich in April after contracting coronavirus. Picture: Goodman Family - Credit: Goodman Family

A Norwich woman who lost her father to coronavirus has criticised the timing of the government's enquiry into the handling of the pandemic.

Jo Goodman, 32, set up the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice group following the death of her father Stuart, 72, at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital last year after he was diagnosed with the virus. 

The group has welcomed Boris Johnson's announcement there will be an independent publc inquiry into the handling of the crisis, but said the start date of spring next year is "simply too late".

Jo Goodman with her father Stuart who died after being diagnosed with Covid in Norwich

Jo Goodman with her father Stuart who died after being diagnosed with Covid in Norwich - Credit: Submitted

Ms Goodman, who now lives in London having left Norfolk in 2007, said: "It sounds like common sense when the Prime Minister says that an inquiry can wait until the pandemic is over, but lives are at stake with health experts and scientists warning of a third wave later this year."

Number 10 has defended the timescale, stating that "these sorts of inquiries do require a great deal of government time with officials who are currently working on our Covid response".

Ms Goodman started calling for a statutory public inquiry before the vaccine programme began.

Previously, she said she wrote six letters to the Prime Minister asking for meetings but that her requests were "either ignored or brushed off".

In March, she spoke directly with First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon over Zoom regarding an enquiry in Scotland.

Stuart Goodman who died with Covid aged 72.

Stuart Goodman who died with Covid aged 72. - Credit: Submitted

Her father, a former Fleet Street press photographer, died on April 2. He began suffering symptoms of the virus after being admitted to the Norwich and Norfolk University Hospital following a cancer diagnosis on March 18.

He worked as a newspaper photographer and picture editor after first making his name with prize-winning pictures of the IRA Balcombe Street Siege in London in 1975.