A public investigation into the coronavirus response could take eight years, warns a former judge who led the investigation on Bloody Sunday
- Lord Saville suggested that the public inquiry into Covid could take seven or eight years
- The former judge conducted the Blood Sunday investigation during the riots
- Boris Johnson has said there will be a time to learn from the pandemic
A public investigation into the coronavirus response could take eight years, the former judge who led the investigation on Bloody Sunday warned today.
Lord Saville said he would be “amazed” if a full investigation could be done in less than “seven or eight years” and insisted, “You cannot hurry.”
The government has come under heavy fire for being slow to realize the scale of the threat posed by the virus. Ministers’ allegations were closed too late and they failed to set up testing capacity – adding to the death toll.
Much of the criticism more recently has been curbed by the strong performance of the UK vaccine rollout.
Boris Johnson has stopped setting a date to open an investigation into how to deal with the pandemic, despite making it clear that there will be time for lessons.
Labor has pressed for an early investigation, and has insisted that it could help improve the approach to the aftermath of the crisis.
Lord Saville (right) said he would be “amazed” if a full public inquiry could be conducted in less than “seven or eight years”. Boris Johnson (left) has refused to set a schedule for a probe launch
The government has come under heavy fire for being slow to realize the scale of the threat posed by the virus. Ministers’ allegations were closed too late and they failed to set up testing capacity – adding to the death toll
Lord Saville was asked about the schedule during an interview on Times Radio this afternoon. The former Supreme Court judge spent 12 years investigating the events of Bloody Sunday in Derry during the riot. The final bill for his report was reportedly £ 200 million.
When asked how long an investigation into the coronavirus response might take, Lord Saville said, “If teaching is to be sought, there is a lot of material to be looked at and many witnesses to be heard.
“I would be wondering if it was done from scratch in less than seven or eight years, but that’s a mere guess and not based on anything at all. It could take a lot longer. ‘
At a briefing on Downing Street last month, Mr. Johnson expressed his regret.
The Prime Minister suggested that if he had known the extent to which Covid could be transmitted asymptomatically, there would have been a different approach.
“Month after month, our collective battle against the coronavirus was like a battle in the dark against a calloused and invisible enemy until science helped us turn on the lights and get the upper hand,” he said.
Mr Johnson said he will deal with the consequences of Covid “as long as I live” – and said his biggest concern is the damage to the younger generation because they missed their education.
He added that the decisions were “very difficult” and “not good results” were possible, and stated emotionally that he always had the “interests of the British people first in our hearts”.
During the briefing, Prof. Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance complained about the lack of testing capacity at the beginning of the crisis.