Open letter Public Inquiry Covid Crisis -sign by TOMORROW Thursday 2nd July 4pm

A call out to the Third Sector, campaigning orgs and trade unions – Join Public Interest Law Centre in demanding a Public Inquiry into the handling of the Covid-19 crisis – please endorse and sign by this Thursday 2nd July

PILC ith the The Law Centres Network, are writing a letter to the Home Secretary to demand a public inquiry into the UK Government’s handling of the pandemic. We would like the letter to be a joint call by the Third Sector for an investigation into the litany of failures that have led to thousands of unnecessary deaths. Please join us by reading and signing the attached letter. 
Covid 19 impact and a systematic failure
As you are aware, the number of excess deaths registered in the UK during the Covid-19 outbreak is over 65,000, with the UK being one of the worst-affected countries in the world.

The record number of deaths is not a natural consequence of the virus, but a product of political choices. The absence of a robust response by the UK Government has led to thousands of unnecessary deaths at every juncture of this pandemic.

The failures are well-documented and include delays in imposing lockdown, PPE shortages, failure to test, trace and isolate, delayed action to safeguard care homes and failure to protect victims of abuse. These failures have had a disproportionate impact on BAME communities. 

Why is a public inquiry necessary?
The Third Sector and bereaved families deserve to know what went wrong and why. It will fall on our sector to pick up the pieces of the Government’s many failures. Given our unique position, we have a right to demand answers.

According to the Inquiries Act 2005, a public inquiry can be called when “particular events have caused, or are capable of causing, public concern, or… there is public concern that particular events may have occurred.”

The handling of the Covid-19 crisis is clearly a matter of significant public interest and concern. Given the public’s lack of confidence in the Government, it is appropriate that an independent body should investigate decisions, actions and the failure to act, so that the Government may be held accountable and future disasters prevented.

Next Steps
As the Third Sector we have a responsibility to demand a public inquiry on behalf of our service users. We ask that you, as representatives of those affected by the pandemic, join our demand and sign the letter attached. 

Whilst we would welcome any fundamental amendments to the letter, please make sure they are absolutely necessary given the fact that we are sending this to over 40 organisations!

Please kindly respond to Paul.Heron@pilc.org.uk by 4pm Thursday 2nd July 2020 to give us time to edit the letter and send out on Monday 6th July.