Four lawyers step down from Scottish Covid pandemic inquiry

It comes after the resignation of the inquiry chair, Lady Poole KC, who is said to have left for personal reasons.

Four lawyers step down from Scottish Covid-19 inquiry team following Lady Poole KC’s resignation Getty Images

Four members of the Scottish Covid-19 public enquiry’s legal team have stepped down, it has been confirmed.

It comes after the resignation of the inquiry chair, Lady Poole KC, who is said to have left for personal reasons.

Deputy first minister John Swinney indicated that he was informed of her decision last week and that she intends to stand down for personal reasons.

The inquiry is looking at the handling of the pandemic in Scotland covering the period between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2022.

It will operate independently of ministers, and look at the delivery of testing, vaccine administration, infection control, and several other factors which impacted the population.

A spokesperson for the Scottish Covid-19 Inquiry said: “We can confirm that four members of the Counsel team have left the inquiry.

“We are immensely grateful for their contribution to the inquiry’s progress and wish them every success.”

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On Tuesday, families who lost loved ones to coronavirus expressed their “dismay and anger” over a delay to the review following Lady Poole’s resignation.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “A public Inquiry operates independently of ministers. As a result, the procedure, conduct and operation of the Inquiry, including staffing and counsel appointments, are matters for the Chair.

“The Scottish Government is keen to help ensure the excellent progress made so far by the Inquiry is continued.

“Consequently, work to appoint a new chair is being progressed at pace.

“The deputy First Minister has already spoken with the Lord President about arrangements for appointing a new judicial chair.

“Having advised MSPs on Monday he undertook to provide a further update to Parliament about a replacement chair at the earliest opportunity.”