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Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin has been calling for an inquiry on the conduct of the British Government during the coronavirus outbreak to ensure the UK is prepared in the event of a new pandemic. Mr Jenkin said a “lesson learned” exercise in the way Boris Johnson and his Cabinet conducted themselves during the first phase of the outbreak would help establish how the Government should behave in a new health crisis. But BBC Today host Justin Webb said: “Don’t we already know that?
“Wouldn’t the Government say, ‘actually, we have been, we review as we go along?’
“We know for instance that it was a mistake to send people from hospitals into care homes without knowing they didn’t have COVID-19. We know we shouldn’t have done that, we wouldn’t do that in the future.
“Similarly, things to do with the lockdown we would do differently because we can see now what works and what doesn’t.”
But Mr Jenkin insisted a review on the conduct of Government would provide the public with the “confidence” to trust the executive through another outbreak.
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He said: “Yes, to some extent, select committees are already doing this job but to do a proper comprehensive, across-the-board review wouldn’t just ensure that every stone has been turned over and looked underneath.
“It would also give the public the confidence that there has been a comprehensive look in the way I don’t think at the moment.”
Mr Webb however suggested anything short of a Chilcot-style inquiry would not actually provide the British public with the confidence they need.
He said: “Expect it wouldn’t if it’s not Chilcot, if it’s not something that really looks at who is responsible and where there were serious mistakes, why those mistakes were made. And you expressly said it shouldn’t be backwards-looking.”
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