The public interest demands the full disclosure of what went on inside government during our deadliest peacetime emergency in more than a century
It is marked in calendars around Westminster and Whitehall as a day to dread. On 13 June, the public inquiry into the handling of the pandemic will start taking oral evidence. A procession of those at the heart of government decision-taking and blunder-making will be interrogated under oath about their actions and inactions. Heather Hallett, the retired judge in the chair, is said to be disappointed that she did not make lord chief justice. Yet there is surely no more significant role in her line of work than investigating, passing judgment and drawing lessons from the performance of government during the deadliest peacetime emergency in more than a century.
This inquisition is not going to be a dry and bloodless exercise. The formidable judge is adopting a take-no-prisoners approach. We know this from the advance questions the inquiry team has been sending out to those who will be examined.
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