Scotland to begin public inquiry into handling of pandemic by end of year

SCOTLAND is to begin its own public inquiry into the handling of the coronavirus pandemic by the end of the year, the Scottish Government has confirmed. 

The proposed inquiry will be established in the coming months and aims to scrutinise decisions taken in the course of this pandemic.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has committed to holding a UK-wide public inquiry from spring 2022.

A new paper, Covid-19 Inquiry Establishment Aims and Principles, is intended to shape the terms of reference for the Scottish probe, with input from stakeholders, including bereaved families.

Discussions are underway with the Lord President to identify and appoint a judge to chair the inquiry, the Scottish Government said.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the inquiry would look at all aspects of the devolved handling of the pandemic, including the situation in care homes.

She said it is for the chair of the inquiry to determine how it operates, but an indicative timeline may be provided.

Members of the public will be able to share their ideas on the inquiry up to September 30.

John Swinney, Deputy First Minister and Covid Recovery Secretary, said: “Since the early stages of our pandemic response we have been committed to a public inquiry into the handling of the pandemic in Scotland, to ensure that lessons are learned for the future.” 

He added: “We will continue to listen to those affected by Covid-19, including bereaved families, on what they wish the public inquiry to focus on.

“Their feedback will be fundamental in reviewing the suggested approach set out here, and setting the terms of reference for an independent Scottish inquiry.

“Discussions are also ongoing with the UK Government on the planned four nations inquiry, to ensure all areas that need to be considered are covered in a way that gives confidence to bereaved families and others.”

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992