Battle over Dominic Cummings' testimony strengthens case for immediate Covid inquiry: The Yorkshire Post says

Given the explosive nature of Dominic Cummings’ testimony on Wednesday, it is unsurprising that Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock defended their actions as Tory MPs lined up to question the reliability of the Prime Minister’s former chief advisor’s evidence on the Government’s response to the Covid crisis.

Dominic Cummings on his way to give evidence to MPs on Wednesday. Picture: PA

But their responses - and the fact that question marks do remain over the precise veracity of what Mr Cummings told MPs on Wednesday - actually help strengthen one of his central points; the need to start a public inquiry sooner than the current spring 2022 date to help start establishing the full truth of what happened and more importantly allow action to be implemented that will prevent future failures and deaths.

One of the key charges levied by Mr Cummings against Mr Hancock related to untested hospital patients being discharged to care homes in England.

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While Mr Hancock defended his approach to the issue in Parliament and said the Government had followed clinical advice on the appropriate way forward, the record shows that it was only on April 15 last year that Mr Hancock announced everybody going from hospital into social care would be tested and then isolated before the result comes through - more than three weeks after the first lockdown was announced and after thousands of discharges to care homes had taken place.

Prior to that April 15 announcement, the policy - partly because of a lacking of testing capacity - had been to test in a care home only when there were at least five symptomatic residents.Given there have been 36,275 deaths involving Covid-19 in care homes since the pandemic began, finding out exactly what happened and how is no mere academic exercise - those who have lost loved ones deserve to know exactly what happened and the decisions that were being made behind the scenes at the time.

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