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Norfolk MP part of first inquiry into UK’s Covid-19 failures

PUBLISHED: 12:32 14 July 2020 | UPDATED: 12:58 14 July 2020

Clive Lewis, a vice-chair of an inquiry into the governments response to Covid-19, has said the UK has seen catastrophic failings in dealing with the disease. Photo: PA Wire

Clive Lewis, a vice-chair of an inquiry into the governments response to Covid-19, has said the UK has seen catastrophic failings in dealing with the disease. Photo: PA Wire

PA Wire/PA Images

A Norfolk MP and vice-chair of an inquiry into the government’s response to Covid-19 said the UK has seen “catastrophic” failings in dealing with the disease.

A new cross-party group of MPs is set to examine the government’s actions during the crisis to better prepare the country for a potential second winter wave of the disease.

Clive Lewis, Norwich South MP, said “failings as catastrophic as the UK has just experienced” raised “profound questions”.

The all-party parliamentary group on coronavirus, led by the Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran, will hear evidence from the public, bereaved families, health experts and professional bodies and aim to learn lessons.

READ MORE: People aged from 17 to 74 fined in Norfolk for breaching lockdown rules, new data reveals

A No 10 spokesman previously said: “At some point in the future there will be an opportunity for us to look back, to reflect and to learn some profound lessons. But at the moment, the most important thing to do is to focus on responding to the current situation.”

Labour MP Mr Lewis said: “No healthy and functioning democracy should ever shy away from uncovering hard truths about its own failings. Especially failings as large and catastrophic as the UK has just experienced with the advent of Covid-19.

“Such failure raises profound questions about the capabilities of the state to protect us all.”

And he added: “This isn’t just about holding the government to account, as important as that is.

READ MORE: Parents ‘out of their depth’ as children struggle with pandemic fallout

“It’s also about ensuring we have the ability to weather the coming systemic shocks the 21st century will throw at us.

“This will not be the last one.”

The inquiry is the only UK investigation to date into the response to the crisis, which has seen more than 44,000 deaths across the country so far.

The parliamentary inquiry was launched on Monday, July 13, with its recommendations expected to be released by the end of summer.

APPG chair Layla Moran said: “Each day brings more evidence of mistakes in the handling of this pandemic - and there is every indication that we will see a potential second spike this winter.

“The country and the NHS cannot afford for these errors to be repeated. There is no time to waste when it comes to learning the lessons from the response.”

And Conservative MP and vice-chair Dr Dan Poulter said: “It is important that we learn lessons about what things we can do better ahead of the difficult winter months that lie ahead.”

READ MORE: Norfolk hospital reports first new coronavirus death in a month

A No 10 spokesman previously said: “At some point in the future there will be an opportunity for us to look back, to reflect and to learn some profound lessons. But at the moment, the most important thing to do is to focus on responding to the current situation.”


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