Calls for Wales-wide COVID inquiry

Sunday 7th November 2021 7:00 am
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Sam Smith-Higgins and Peter Fox

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Wales’ Shadow Minister for Finance has urged for the Welsh Government to launch a national Covid inquiry without any further delay after meeting families who have been affected by the pandemic.

On Wednesday November 3 Peter Fox, who is also the Member of the Senedd for Monmouth, met with COVID victims’ family members who were in the Senedd calling for a Wales-wide COVID inquiry to explore the decisions taken by the Welsh Government during the pandemic.

One person present was Sam Smith-Higgins, whose father – Phil Smith – died earlier this year from hospital-acquired COVID, whilst receiving treatment for cancer. He was 74.

Mrs Smith-Higgins said:

“There are so many unanswered questions that need addressing, and only Welsh Government officials can do this.

“The Welsh Government has repeatedly told us that they’re in control of health-related matters in Wales, so why are they now trying to avoid scrutiny for their actions? The Welsh Government—like all governments—need to be held to account for the decisions they took.

“We need to be able to understand all of the decisions which were taken.

“Granted, an inquiry would not bring back my dad – but it will give us answers.”

And Mr Fox added:

“My thoughts and prayers go out to Sam and others who have lost loved ones during the pandemic.

“The UK Government has already committed to an inquiry, but sadly the Welsh Government has still refused to agree to one here in Wales.

“This is unacceptable because we need to learn past mistakes to ensure they are not repeated in the future.

“It’s a grave injustice that families like Sam’s, who have been through hell, are now enduring added stresses because their calls are being ignored.

“We desperately need a Wales-wide inquiry.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently announced his intention to launch next year a UK-wide inquiry into the decisions taken during the pandemic.

But to date, First Minister Mark Drakeford has refused to agree to one for just Wales.

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