People's COVID Inquiry

Report launch: Misconduct in public office

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Episode notes

The People’s Covid Inquiry has accused the Government of ‘misconduct in public office’ over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic which led to tens of thousands of avoidable deaths.


In the absence of a formal public inquiry into the pandemic, The People’s COVID Inquiry began in February 2021 and concluded it’s hearings in the summer. It covered all aspects of the government’s handling of the pandemic and heard testimony from a wide range of people and organisations. These included previous government advisors and key academics, as well as frontline workers and bereaved family members. The Inquiry was chaired by world renowned human rights barrister Michael Mansfield QC who, together with a panel of experts, have now delivered their findings and recommendations on all main aspects of the pandemic to date.

Key findings include:

1. The depleted state of the NHS and other public services prior to the pandemic was a determining factor in poor outcomes and led to avoidable deaths.

2. The government was poorly prepared for the pandemic and moved too slowly, which led to avoidable death.

3. The government adopted the wrong strategy leading to loss of life and growing mistrust in its advice.

4. The government’s poor record on inequalities has put the most vulnerable at risk from illness and death from Covid-19.

5. Misconduct in public office: There has been dismal failure in the face of manifestly obvious risks. 

The report received a huge amount of press interest just a section of which you can read by looking at the press page on our People's Covid Inquiry website.

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