The Covid inquiry: What we’ve learnt so far, and what’s next

The first part of the process is well under way, writes Sean O’Grady, but there’s still much more evidence to come from those in the hot seat during the pandemic

Tuesday 20 June 2023 16:34 BST
David Cameron and George Osborne have already been cross-examined by the inquiry
David Cameron and George Osborne have already been cross-examined by the inquiry (Getty)

After a lengthy period of consultation and groundwork, the UK Covid-19 Inquiry, under Baroness Hallett, is now well under way, and proceeding at a remarkably fast pace. The first module, on pandemic preparedness, has already taken evidence from, and cross-examined, former prime minister David Cameron, his chancellor, George Osborne, and the minister responsible for emergency planning, Oliver Letwin. Oliver Dowden, Jeremy Hunt, Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance are up next.

The module “assesses if the pandemic was properly planned for and whether the UK was adequately ready for that eventuality”, says the preamble on the inquiry’s website. “This module will touch on the whole system of civil emergencies including resourcing, risk management and pandemic readiness. It will scrutinise government decision-making relating to planning and seek to identify lessons that can be learnt.”

Cameron, Osborne, Letwin: are we reliving the coalition years?

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