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Covid families left anxious by inquiry delays

[Press center8] time:2023-05-28 21:40:46 source:ABC News author:Press center5 click:54order

The UK Covid inquiry has heard bereaved families in Scotland have been left anxious by delays to the separate Scottish inquiry into the pandemic.

Claire Madison Mitchell KC was speaking as the UK inquiry begins hearings into political and administrative decision-making by the Scottish government.

The UK inquiry will have to co-ordinate with the Scottish investigation.

Its chairwoman Lady Poole quit for personal reasons and was last week replaced by Lord Brailsford.

Four members of the Scottish inquiry's legal team also stood down last month.

Ms Mitchell said in light of the "unfortunate difficulties" the families were keen to ensure co-operation between the UK and Scottish proceedings.

She added: "They wish to ensure that the voices of the Scottish bereaved are heard at both inquires."

Earlier Jamie Dawson KC outlined how the response of Scottish ministers to the global health crisis would be assessed from January 2020 to April this year.

And he said the decision making north of the border during the pandemic would be independently examined "without fear or favour".

He also told how no individual, business or community had been left untouched by Covid.

Mr Dawson said: "Its impact will be felt in Scotland for decades to come."

Baroness Hallett, who is leading the UK inquiry, later said it had not been easy to work closely with the separate Scottish Covid inquiry after its chairwoman resigned and the legal team quit.

But she also said she was looking forward to meeting its new chairman Lord Brailsford and working with his team.

A lawyer representing the Scottish government later told the inquiry that Holyrood ministers want to co-operate fully with them.

Baroness Hallett welcomed the commitment by Geoffrey Mitchell KC after he appeared before the London hearing via video-link.

He also told the inquiry ministers in Edinburgh were were acutely aware of the many types of loss suffered by people during the pandemic.

Mr Mitchell KC added: "They completely understand that the people of Scotland would like answers to the many questions that bear upon the government's handling of the pandemic.

"The ministers are committed to that process.

"They are equally committed to the Scottish Covid-19 inquiry, which will run parallel to the UK inquiry."

(editor-in-charge:Press center7)

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