Bereaved Welsh families to play key role in UK Covid Inquiry after receiving official status

The Covid-19 public enquiry began on October 4. Credit: Cardiff University

Welsh families who had loved ones die from Covid have now been told that they will be recognised as 'core participants' in the UK Covid inquiry.

The public enquiry began on October 4 in London and the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice Cymru (CBFJC) will play an official role in the inquiry.

The group were originally campaigning for a Covid-19 public inquiry specifically for Wales.

First Minister Mark Drakeford insisted that all decisions made by the Welsh Government must be seen in the context of those made by the UK Government and so the CBFJC shifted their focus on making sure that Wales is fully scrutinised in the UK inquiry.

Anna-Louise Marsh-Rees, the group lead of CBFJC, said: "This is a key milestone in our campaign and a huge relief to know that Welsh families will be represented in the UK Inquiry.

"We thank the Chair, Baroness Hallett, for recognising that CBFJC are best placed to assist this Public Inquiry to achieve its aims by representing the collective interests of a broad spectrum of those bereaved by Covid-19 in Wales in relation to Module 1."

Module 1 of the UK Covid Inquiry will investigate the resilience and preparedness of the UK for a pandemic. As one of only 28 groups granted Core Participant status, the group will have a key role in the Inquiry process.

These include being represented and making legal submissions, receiving disclosure of documentation, suggesting questions and receiving advance notice of the Inquiry’s report.

However, the CBFJC still believe that this inquiry won't go far enough in scrutinising Wales.

Anna said: "Whilst welcoming the Chair’s commitment to scrutinising the actions of the devolved administrations, we remain concerned that Module 1 will not go far enough in examining the Welsh specific issues that need to be investigated in depth by this Inquiry."