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British govt. launches inquiry into its handling of coronavirus

A public inquiry is being launched into the British government’s handling of the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday.

The inquiry, which will begin in the spring of 2022, will place “the state’s actions under the microscope” and help Britain “to learn every lesson for the future,” Johnson told lawmakers in the British Parliament.

“Amid such tragedy, the state has an obligation to examine its actions as rigorously and as candidly as possible, and to learn every lesson for the future – which is why I’ve always said when the time is right there should be a full and independent inquiry.

“So, I can confirm today that the government will establish an independent public inquiry on a statutory basis, with full powers under the Inquiries Act 2005 – including the ability to compel the production of all relevant materials and take oral evidence in public under oath,” Johnson said.

He added that the devolved parliaments of Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales would also be consulted before the publishing of the report.

Opposition leader Keir Starmer praised the decision to conduct an inquiry, but urged for it to be carried out sooner.

He also urged that both families affected by the coronavirus and front line workers be consulted, as well as the devolved parliaments. (dpa/NAN)

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