Local MSP for the Linlithgow Constituency, Fiona Hyslop, has welcomed the establishment of a statutory inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005 to examine the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in Scotland. The period covered by the inquiry will be from 1st January 2020 to 31st December 2022, but it will also consider pandemic planning undertaken prior to this.
In a statement to Parliament on Tuesday 14th December 2021, Deputy First Minister John Swinney confirmed that the Honourable Lady Poole QC, Senator of the College of Justice of Scotland, will chair the inquiry. The chair will begin the process of appointing staff now so the inquiry can begin considering evidence without delay.
The Deputy First Minister also published the terms of reference for the inquiry covering 12 areas of investigation, each covering a strategic element of the handling of the pandemic, to identify lessons to be learned and recommendations for future practice. The terms of reference were informed by public engagement.
Commenting, Fiona said:
“I am glad to welcome the public inquiry into the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Scotland. The pandemic has affected us all in so many ways, and the loss of so many lives is a tragedy.
“This is a clear commitment to address this from the Scottish Government, who have taken action to establish the facts in a transparent way in order to find out what lessons can be learned for the future.
“I would like to reiterate the Deputy First Minister’s thanks to everyone who has shared their opinions on what the inquiry should look into, particularly those who have lost loved ones. Their input has been invaluable in developing the inquiry’s terms of reference, and I am glad to see their views represented”.
You can find the terms of the Covid-19 Inquiry here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/covid-19-inquiry/