Boris Johnson agrees to meet bereaved families calling for public inquiry on handling of coronavirus crisis after initial snub

Boris Johnson has agreed to meet a group of bereaved families calling on him to commit to a public inquiry into the handling of the coronavirus crisis.

The group first wrote to Mr Johnson, and the health secretary Matt Hancock, in June to request a meeting.

Since then they say they have sent three more letters, but been told that “regrettably, due to the current pandemic, they will be unable to meet with you at this time”.

Asked about the letters, Mr Johnson said he was not aware of them and “of course” would meet the families.

Mr Johnson has agreed to hold an investigation into how his government fought the global pandemic.

But he has yet to set out what kind of inquiry it will be and when it will start.

The Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice UK group represents nearly 1,600 families.

Earlier, Jo Goodman, whose father Stuart died of Covid-19, said: “Despite describing bereaved families as partners of the Government, Boris Johnson is still refusing to meet with us.

“We don’t know why the Prime Minister won’t meet with bereaved families – we just don’t want others to go through the same pain we have.”

The group are calling for a statutory public inquiry with an immediate rapid review phase.

They want lessons to be learned as quickly as possible as the UK prepares for a potential second wave of the disease this winter.

They are also fundraising for potential legal action to try to force the government to hold a statutory inquiry.

Leanne Devine, head of civil liberties at Broudie Jackson Canter, said: “The government should commit to a statutory public inquiry to ensure scrutiny and allow the families proper involvement in an independent process to determine what happened to their loved ones and to make recommendations for prevention of further loss of life.”


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