Bigger picture demands a Covid inquiry as bitter Downing Street briefing war escalates: The Yorkshire Post says

The increasingly bitter briefing war surrounding the top of Government has now seen Boris Johnson accused of saying that he would rather see “bodies pile high in their thousands” than order a third national lockdown - an allegation that has been flatly denied by the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to Moreton farm in Clwyd near Wrexham, north Wales, as part of Welsh Conservative Party Senedd election campaign. Picture: Paul Ellis/PA Wire

Whatever the truth of the matter and the different agendas at play behind the incendiary accusations originally made to the Daily Mail by unnamed sources, the row strengthens calls for an immediate fact-based public inquiry into the Government’s handling of the Covid crisis which has been officially linked to more than 127,000 deaths in the UK.

Rather than the macabre soap opera of claim and counter-claim which is currently playing out on the front pages of national newspapers on a daily basis, an inquiry could take a look at the broader picture and assess both the faults and strengths of the UK’s response to the Covid crisis in a way which would make the nation better prepared for dealing with future waves of coronavirus and other pandemics.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

No one can doubt the invidiousness of the position in which the Prime Minister found himself in when responding to the pandemic.

But there is clear evidence that delays in ordering lockdowns contributed to the rapid spread of the disease and thousands of avoidable deaths which followed.

Mr Johnson himself said earlier this month that lockdown had been more important than the vaccination programme in cutting Covid cases in recent months.

Equally, the economic damage the Government hoped to avoid was merely slightly delayed and actually worsened given how tough and lengthy the third lockdown has ended up being.

Many questions need answering and the bigger picture must not be forgotten in amongst the high-level political intrigue and backstabbing.

Support The Yorkshire Post and become a subscriber today. Your subscription will help us to continue to bring quality news to the people of Yorkshire. In return, you'll see fewer ads on site, get free access to our app and receive exclusive members-only offers. Click here to subscribe.