Start the Coronavirus inquiry now

To: Boris Johnson, prime minister

After a year of the pandemic, in which the government was slow to act over and over again, we need an urgent public inquiry into the decisions that were made.

Several witnesses are prepared to swear under oath that they heard Boris Johnson say that he would rather “let the bodies pile high in their thousands” than bring in a third lockdown at the end of last year.

News of the shocking remark come at the same time as thousands of bereaved families have been told that an immediate inquiry into the government’s handling of the pandemic is “not appropriate”.

125,000 people have died of coronavirus in the UK, and our country has one of the highest death rates per capita in the world.

Imperial College modelling suggests that 4.5m coronavirus infections might have been avoided if Johnson had not delayed each time he was urged to impose a lockdown. Tens of thousands of lives may have been saved.

In light of the UK’s shocking coronavirus figures, the words that the prime minister reportedly spoke and out of respect for those lost loved ones, it is imperative that we now have a public inquiry straight away.

Highlighted comments

My husband’s death in March was precipitated by contracting COVID-19 whilst being nursed for Alzheimer’s in a care home. I guess he was “expendable”.

Susan, Essex

My younger brother was one of the bodies ‘piled high’.

Jan, South Shields

Several of my friends have been lost and I would like closure for them.

Vera, Staffordshire

Like millions of people, I have lost people I loved due to the pandemic. So many lives were lost prematurely due to the government’s shocking negligence and unwillingness to follow scientific advice. There needs to be an independent inquiry asap.

Abigail, East London

I lost a very dear friend. She was not a body, she was a beautiful, compassionate friend, much loved mother, sister, aunt. The Prime Minister is a disgrace. The Government has locked down too late, put lives at risk with their eat out to help out and lifting restrictions too soon. They have put our NHS under excessive and relentless strain with their cost cutting and privatisation by stealth, not to mention their wasting of millions of pounds of public funds on cronyism and inadequate PPE. We need an enquiry to expose the whole issue. Our loved ones deserve better than this.

Julia, Blaenau Gwent

My Dad died at the end of December from Covid having gone into hospital with a bladder infection. To hear the language used by the Prime Minister about “bodies” is insulting to my Dad and all my family let alone the other 127,000 people and their families. If he’d acted quicker and with people in mind my Dad might still be here. I feel so hurt and totally let down by the people we are supposed to trust to do the right thing.

Susan, Northampton

My 97 year old mother was one of the early care-home residents to be murdered by this government. She died alone, having not seen her family or friends for three months.

Andrew, Warwickshire

Lost two family members and it seemed like the government were doing the opposite of what they should be doing. Always doing the right thing too late.

Vicky, Chichester

For my brother and the thousands and thousands of other people that didn’t need to die.

Katrina, Berkshire


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