Covid inquiry "must be rooted in victim's stories"

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has today said that the forthcoming judge-led inquiry into the handling of the Covid crisis must be rooted in victim's stories and warned that it must not be allowed to run for years or lessons will be lost.

His call comes ahead of the conclusion tomorrow (30th September) of a consultation on how such an inquiry should run.

Scottish Liberal Democrats have been campaigning for this full inquiry, as well as calling last summer for a separate rapid inquiry to quickly gather and understand the failings of the first wave before the second wave hit.

The Iraq Inquiry took seven years from when hearings first began to the publication of the Chilcot Report. The Penrose Inquiry into the contaminated blood disaster was set up by Nicola Sturgeon in 2008 and didn’t report until 2015.

Mr Cole-Hamilton said:

"This has been a tragic saga and it's ripples will be felt for decades.

"Past inquiries have taken years to establish and even longer to report. In that time, memories fade, contemporary evidence is lost and any hope of accountability withers. This inquiry must be different.

"We need an inquiry that is rooted in the stories of the victims of this terrible tragedy and their families, in order to understand the full impact of decisions taken by ministers.

"The inquiry will need to consider care homes, test and protect, the impact of travel restrictions and more and offer up lessons for how mistakes can be avoided if, god forbid, we find ourselves in the same circumstances again."

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