A spokesperson for the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice group said in a statement to CNN: “It’s deeply upsetting for those of us who lost loved ones to see the Prime Minister painting in a luxury villa rather than responding to the devastating news yesterday’s report brought. If the Prime Minister wishes his condolences to carry any meaning, he should be drawing up a new timeline for the upcoming inquiry.”
Among the biggest failures of the government’s approach was an initial policy at the start of the pandemic to try to manage the spread of Covid, rather than stop it spreading altogether, the lawmakers said.
In its statement the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice group said: “Following yesterday’s report, bereaved families across the UK will be waking up this morning agonizing over whether their loved ones might still be with them if Johnson’s Government had made different decisions. Meanwhile, Johnson himself is relaxing on a beach.”
The statement added that the report “only scratched the surface of what the country has been through over the past two years,” criticized Johnson for dragging his heels over a public inquiry into the pandemic and called for an inquiry to begin immediately.
In the Prime Minister’s absence, Oliver Dowden — the Conservative party co-chairman — apologized to families who had lost loved ones and said he welcomed the report.
“Of course, I’m sorry, as the Prime Minister is sorry,” Dowden told Sky News. “We’re sorry for the losses that all those families have suffered.”
Dowden admitted the government would “do some things differently with hindsight,” but added “this was an unprecedented crisis … there isn’t some perfect rulebook that we could follow.”
He added the government would be “fully analyzing and giving a full response to the report.”