Senedd Covid committee hearings postponed following UK Inquiry delays
The Senedd committee looking at the Welsh Government’s performance during the Covid-19 pandemic has confirmed some meetings will be postponed as a result of delays to the UK Covid Inquiry.
Questions have been raised about the cancellation of two Covid-19 Inquiry Special Purpose Committee meetings due to take place at the Senedd in November.
The cross party Committee unanimously agreed to postpone meetings on November 7 and 14 after it was revealed that the UK Covid Inquiry will not be expected to finish its report until early summer 2024 – instead of early next year as had been previously expected.
Co-chaired by Welsh Conservative MS Tom Giffard and Labour MS Joyce Watson, the Committee plans to resume its work in early 2024.
The Committee was established in May this year and following the publication of reports at each stage of the UK Covid-19 Inquiry it will fill in any gaps identified in the preparedness and response of the Welsh Government and other Welsh public bodies during the pandemic.
The Committee has said it can only fully define the scope of its work once it has seen the first UK Covid Inquiry report.
In the meantime, members will continue preparatory work ahead of the UK Covid Inquiry publishing its first report on Module 1.
Members will meet again early in 2024 with academics and experts to take advice on relevant issues arising from UK Inquiry modules.
Committee members will also receive a briefing on the civil contingencies framework in Wales to help them prepare for their scrutiny of the Module 1 findings.
These meetings will be conducted in public with dates and details expected to be published on the Senedd website soon.
Wales Covid-19 Inquiry Special Purpose Committee co-chairs Tom Giffard MS and Joyce Watson MS made the following statement: “The Covid-19 pandemic had a big impact on the lives of everyone in Wales and this Committee will reflect that by doing everything it can to fulfil its specific remit, which is to monitor the UK Covid-19 Inquiry and identify any gaps in the preparedness and response of the Welsh Government to the pandemic that should be examined further.
“The Committee will detail the scope of its work once it has seen the first UK Covid Inquiry report. Until then, the Committee with continue with preparations, including meeting again early in 2024 with academics and experts, to take advice on relevant issues arising from the UK Covid Inquiry. These meetings will be conducted in public and details will be made available soon.”
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