EMMA LEWELL-BUCK: Answers and justice needed for those hit hardest by Covid

Whilst our communities rebuild from Covid-19, there are many who lost loved ones and worked in our care services and NHS whose lives will never be the same.

All these people deserve answers and justice. This week, two days after being threatened with legal action from the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice Group, the Prime Minister, after a six-month delay, announced the Covid inquiry into the Government’s handling of the pandemic would begin.

The UK death toll stands at 196,977, one of the highest in the world, it is clear that grave and unforgivable mistakes were made by the Government that cost lives.

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The delay from the Prime Minister in announcing the beginning of the inquiry may well have resulted in a loss of evidence.

The inquiry will cover the Government’s pandemic preparedness, handling of lockdowns and their policies relating to infection control in care homes amongst other things. It will also remind people of the disgusting way the Prime Minister and those close to him fragrantly broke the rules and partied whilst the rest of us suffered.

It is already well documented that the Government ignored warnings that they weren’t properly prepared for a pandemic.

When it came to lockdowns, they were inconsistent, and messaging was chaotic. Their deliberate discharge of people with Covid into care homes will remain one of the most unforgivable acts of any Government.

There are some who say we need to move on. I disagree.

I remember those we lost in South Shields.

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I vividly remember the phone calls me and my team took daily from those who had lost loved ones. I remember the care workers we spoke to who were heartbroken losing people they had looked after for years.

I remember those working in the NHS who broke down talking to me about the desperate situation they and their colleagues were facing at work.

I remember every single person I spoke to who made sacrifices, who struggled with their mental health, and whose livelihoods disappeared.

For them, for all of us, this inquiry is needed. I just hope those responsible are held properly to account.