Covid inquiry must be different from past investigations, say Lib Dems

The party's leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said the investigation should be 'rooted in the stories of the victims'.

Covid inquiry must be different from past investigations, say Lib Dems SnowMannn via IStock
Concerns have been raised over the length of time taken for previous inquiries to be established.

The Covid-19 inquiry set up by the Scottish Government must be different to other inquiries in the speed of its reporting, the Scottish Liberal Democrats have said.

A consultation on the inquiry, which First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said she hopes will start before the end of the year, closes on Thursday.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said the investigation should be “rooted in the stories of the victims”, as he urged the government to ensure families do not have to wait years for answers, as has been the case in several high-profile inquiries in the past decade.

The Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq War took seven years to report its findings, while the investigation into the contaminated blood scandal – set up by the First Minister when she was health secretary in 2008 – took the same amount of time.

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“This has been a tragic saga and its ripples will be felt for decades,” Cole-Hamilton said.

“Past inquiries have taken years to establish and even longer to report.

“In that time, memories fade, contemporary evidence is lost and any hope of accountability withers. This inquiry must be different.

“We need an inquiry that is rooted in the stories of the victims of this terrible tragedy and their families, in order to understand the full impact of decisions taken by ministers.

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“The inquiry will need to consider care homes, test and protect, the impact of travel restrictions and more, and offer up lessons for how mistakes can be avoided if, god forbid, we find ourselves in the same circumstances again.”

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