UK PM to meet bereaved Covid families group

Covidwoman sad for losting someone

The BBC reported, Boris Johnson will meet a campaign group representing families bereaved by Covid later, after declining to meet them since last year.

According to the BBC, the prime minister will host Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice for a private reception in Downing Street, alongside senior officials.

He declined to meet them last year – citing a threat of legal action over an official pandemic inquiry.

The BBC mentioned, the government has since said an official probe will begin next spring.

It said, the meeting comes a week before the group attends the Conservative Party annual conference, which begins in Manchester on Sunday.

Boris Johnson-UK

The BBC added, the group says it was initially denied permission to attend, before subsequently being told they could after “the news broke in the media”.

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The group, representing families with relatives who have died with the virus, has been asking for a meeting with Mr Johnson since last year.

In September, he said he would be “happy to meet” them, when their “litigation” against the government had concluded.

The group had written to the government in August, saying it was considering a judicial review of the decision not to hold an immediate public inquiry.

But the group denied that legal action had started – and labelled Mr Johnson’s reason for not meeting them a “poor excuse”.

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In May, Mr Johnson announced a statutory public inquiry into the government’s handling of the pandemic would begin in spring 2022.

The families say they will use the meeting to share stories of how their loved ones died, and repeat their calls for a public inquiry to start now.

They have asked for the reception to be held outside, and for social distancing to be maintained.

Group co-founder Jo Goodman, whose 72-year-old father died after contracting Covid in the early stages of the pandemic, told BBC Breakfast they had heard “almost nothing about the next steps” since the official inquiry was announced.

She added they were “really glad to be finally meeting the prime minister”, adding: “it’s just a shame it’s taken 15 months since we first requested a meeting”.

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She added: “Every day that the inquiry doesn’t start is a day that lives are potentially being needlessly lost.”

“Although it feels as if the government is trying to move forward from the pandemic and trying almost to say the pandemic is over, actually we’re still losing a thousand people a week.

“What we want to know is that we’re doing absolutely everything we can to save lives going forward.

“We feel we have to be the voice for those people who are still at risk, for those families who are yet to be bereaved.”

Source: BBC