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Delayed Covid inquiry to be conducted ‘as speedily as possible’

THE families of Covid-19 victims welcomed news today that the delayed inquiry into the government’s handling of the pandemic will be conducted “as speedily as possible.”

Baroness Heather Hallett, who will chair the probe, said that preliminary hearings would begin in September, ahead of substantive public sessions starting in late spring 2023.

The government formally launched the inquiry at the end of June, just days after bereaved families threatened legal action over delays.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson previously promised that the inquiry would start in the spring of this year.­

Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice co-founder Jo Goodman said: “Today was an emotional day for those of us who have lost loved ones and it meant a lot to hear Baroness Hallett recognise the devastating nature of bereavement and the pain we’ve been through.

“Hopefully, this will be reflected by not making bereaved families go through the stressful and draining process of applying to be core participants in every single module.”

Elkan Abrahamson of law firm Broudie Jackson Canter, who represents the group, said it is of “fundamental importance” that the government fully discloses all relevant documents to the inquiry.

“The bereaved would regard anything less than full disclosure as a cover-up,” he added.

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