Bereaved families call for an independent inquiry into the Government's response to the coronavirus pandemic

Politicians have today heard from covid survivors and bereaved families, as part of an investigation into the Government's handling of the coronavirus crisis.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus was set up in July and is calling for a rapid inquiry into the Government's response to the pandemic.

Jo Goodman, who lost her father Stuart to Covid-19 in April, was one of the bereaved family members who gave evidence to the group today. She feels let down and says the Government should have locked down earlier. She co-founded the Covid 19 Bereaved Families for Justice.

They are seeking a public inquiry, starting immediately, to look at key elements of the Government’s approach, and also better bereavement services. 

Speaking to Good Morning Britain, Jo explained: "We felt really strongly that if different action had been taken my dad would still be here. There wasn’t a voice for bereaved families and we hear so much talk of the government’s massive success in all of this and that’s deeply hurtful to the families who have lost someone because how can it be called a massive success?"

"We’re calling for a statutory public enquiry which would be judge led and fully independent from government and able to hear evidence from bereaved families as well as other witnesses and get evidence to ensure that it has the full spread of information available to it. What’s really crucial is that we believe that that public enquiry needs to have an immediate phase which within a matter of months would be able to draw out key recommendations for what needs to change and be addressed in the government's Covid response," she said.

Not wanting other families to go through what she went through, Jo added: "Another key part of our motivation was that we don’t want other families to have to go through this so what we’re pushing for is to ensure that the government does take proper, appropriate action to ensure that peoples’ lives are protected."

Sharing her hope for an independent investigation, Jo continued: "We really hope the government does pay attention to what comes out of the APPG...A lot of our families have experiences that we think really need to be looked at to make sure that other people don’t lose people as needlessly as we have done." 

A Government spokesperson said: “Every death from this virus is a tragedy and our sympathies are with everyone who has lost loved ones. From the outset, we have done everything possible to protect the public and save lives. And, at every stage, our response has been guided by the science and advice of experts from SAGE and its sub-committees."

“We have been clear that there will be opportunities in the future to look back, analyse and reflect on all aspects of this pandemic. As the Prime Minister has said, this will include an independent inquiry at the appropriate time. For now, the Government is focused on responding to the current situation and saving lives," they added.