The new chair of Scotland’s coronavirus inquiry has been appointed.
Lord Brailsford, a senator of the College of Justice of Scotland, has been named to the position.
He replaces Lady Poole, who quit as chair of the inquiry at the start of October.
Deputy first minister John Swinney stated that Lady Poole resigned due to personal reasons.
Following the departure of Lady Poole, four members of the inquiry’s legal team stepped down.
The inquiry was established in order to look at the handling of the pandemic in Scotland.
Lord Brailsford said that he is “honoured” to have been appointed to the role.
He also pledged that he would work with the inquiry team to “thoroughly examine” decisions taken during the pandemic.
“I am honoured to have been appointed as the independent chair of the Scottish Covid-19 Inquiry,” he said.
“The pandemic impacted everyone across the country to some degree. There is barely a family, business or organisation that wasn’t affected in some way.
“This inquiry seeks to find out whether anything could or even should have been done differently and what lessons can be learned for the future.”
Lord Brailsford acknowledged the “enormous responsibility” placed on him and the inquiry team.
He continued: “The public are rightly looking for answers and no more so than the loved ones of the nearly 16,000 people in Scotland who died during this pandemic.
“I am immensely aware of the enormous responsibility this places on me and the inquiry.
“I promise the families that along with the Inquiry team, I will work independently to establish the facts and ensure the Inquiry thoroughly examines the decisions taken throughout the pandemic.”
John Swinney said that he has “no doubt” that Lord Brailsford has the leadership skills necessary to continue the work of the inquiry.
He said: “The Scottish Government wants the Scottish Covid-19 Inquiry to be delivered at speed and to address the range of questions that people have, the bereaved in particular, so that we can learn lessons and benefit from them as early as possible.
“That is why arrangements for identifying a new judicial chair for the Inquiry have been taken forward urgently to ensure a swift and successful transition.
“From my own and the First Minister’s interactions with Lord Brailsford, I am in no doubt that he has the necessary leadership skills, integrity and experience to continue the work of this Inquiry.
“I am grateful to Lady Poole for the important work she has undertaken since the establishment of this Inquiry. I thank Lady Poole for her work and wish her well.”
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