Starmer spokesman rejects calls for immediate inquiry into Covid deaths

The UK has surpassed 100,000 Covid deaths but Starmer's spokesman said the current focus is on vaccines and lifting the lockdown

Covid girl in mask

While the UK has now passed the horrific milestone of 100,000 Covid deaths since the started of the pandemic, Sir Keir Starmer’s spokesman has today rejected an immediate coronavirus inquiry.

This comes as leader of the Liberal Democrat Party, Ed Davey MP, said there should be a Covid inquiry now otherwise lessons will be learned “too late”.

Yesterday, January 26, the number of people who have died from Covid-19 in the UK since the start of the pandemic surpassed 100,000. The UK is the first country in Europe to do this. It also has a worse Covid death rate than the US.

While Mr Davey is supporting an immediate inquiry into Covid deaths, Sir Keir Starmer’s spokesman rejected these calls when Left Foot Forward put the question to him.

“At the moment the focus has got to be on getting the vaccine distributed and lifting lockdown as soon as possible,” Starmer’s spokesman said.

“The government knows the mistakes it’s made even if it won’t admit them. The government needs to learn from those mistakes”.

Responding to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s press conference as over 100,000 people have now lost their lives to coronavirus, Mr Davey said this is by far a good enough reason to hold a Covid inquiry right now.

Mr Davey said: “Waiting for the end of this pandemic to hold a public inquiry leaves the country destined to fight yesterday’s battles.  Lessons learnt after the event will come too late for thousands in our country who will lose loved ones in the coming months. 

“They will also come too late for thousands more who will suffer the after effects of this virus such as long COVID.  The Liberal Democrats first called for a public inquiry six months ago: it was the right action to take then and that is even more true today. 

“If the loss of 100,000 people in this country is not a good enough reason to hold a public inquiry now, then the Prime Minister needs to take a long hard look in the mirror. 

“The death of over 100,000 people with coronavirus is a dark day for our country.  Loss on this scale can seem almost too great to get our heads around but we must never forget that each of these people has left behind family, friends and neighbours.  Thoughts and prayers are needed for those left behind but they alone will not help us get through this pandemic.” 

In a statement yesterday, Mr Johnson said: “I am sorry to have to tell you that today the number of deaths recorded from Covid in the UK has surpassed 100,000, and it is hard to compute the sorrow contained in that grim statistic.

“The years of life lost, the family gatherings not attended and, for so many relatives, the missed chance even to say goodbye.”

Lucy Skoulding is a freelance reporter at Left Foot Forward. Follow her on Twitter. 

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