Older People’s Commissioner backs Wales-specific Covid inquiry
The Older People’s Commissioner has joined in calls for a Wales-specific Covid inquiry.
Heléna Herklots said in a letter that “a Welsh Public Inquiry would provide the best opportunity for older people to be listened to, have their experiences and views valued, and their questions answered as part of an Inquiry”.
She added in a letter to the Welsh Conservatives: “I am clear that a Public Inquiry must focus on learning lessons from what we have all gone through and how the decisions that were made by the Welsh Government, and other public bodies in Wales, have affected all of our lives.
“We must learn from what has gone well as part of Wales’ response to this pandemic, and look at how in any future outbreaks, we would do things differently”.
The Welsh Conservatives, Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats have all backed a Wales-specific Covid inquiry.
However, First Minister Mark Drakeford has so far resisted pressure for a Wales-specific inquiry by all the Senedd opposition parties.
The Welsh Government has said that “a UK-wide inquiry will have the capacity and force to oversee the interconnected nature of the decisions that have been made across the four nations”.
Welsh Conservative and Shadow Health Minister Russell George MS welcomed Heléna Herklots’ call for the inquiry in Wales.
“From knowing that a quarter of Wales’ 8,000 Covid-related deaths were caught in hospitals to the decision to implement the disastrous firebreak to bringing in redundant vaccine passports, there is much the Labour Government needs to answer for and a Wales-specific inquiry would provide the chance for that,” he said.
“The way the First Minister is trying to position himself ready to blame the British Government after finding himself on the wrong side of public opinion is unacceptable. He needs to cut out the political games and get on with delivering a public inquiry.
“The support of the Older People’s Commissioner is a huge boost to the campaign and I hope the First Minister will be convinced by her argument as, sadly, those of the bereaved families have not yet moved him.”
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The First Minister wants to the autonomy that goes the one-party government we’ve had for twenty years, but will not accept accountability for his decisions.