Senator: ‘Now is the time to hold an inquiry into pandemic response’

NOW is the time to ‘reflect on lessons learned’ about how the government has handled the pandemic, but ministers have ‘constantly pushed back’ against reviewing their decision-making, the head of Scrutiny has said.

Senator Kristina Moore. Picture: ROB CURRIE. (31840365)
Senator Kristina Moore. Picture: ROB CURRIE. (31840365)

Senator Kristina Moore, chairwoman of the Scrutiny Liaison Committee, has backed calls made this week by Brigadier Nigel Hall for the States Assembly to debate holding a public inquiry into the Island’s Covid-19 response.

The Brigadier, who has experience in crisis management, said that the government’s reluctance to hold such an inquiry was a ‘naked attempt’ to protect itself from criticism.

During last week’s States sitting, Chief Minister John Le Fondré said that there were not sufficient resources to conduct a review ‘in the immediate future’ and added that such an initiative would cost around £5 million.

Last year he suggested that a public inquiry should not be held until Covid-19 could be dealt with ‘almost like the flu’.

But Senator Moore said, that with winter approaching, this was the right time to review the government’s handling of the pandemic.

‘I think the Brigadier is suggesting a relatively quick inquiry and not something that’s going to last for a long period of time,’ she said.

‘It would certainly seem to be a critical point now to reflect on the lessons we have learned. Here we are, in the autumn, and we still don’t know what the winter strategy is.

‘Decisions were taken last week about extending Covid regulations.

‘The government has constantly pushed back against the idea that they could learn from the way they’ve dealt with the pandemic so far, change tack or consider what they might have done differently.

‘I find it very odd that they wouldn’t want to do that,’ Senator Moore added.

Both the UK and Scottish governments have begun preparations for an inquiry into their handling of the pandemic.

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