He was charged with U-turn less than a week after saying “of course” he would meet with representatives of parents from COVID-19[feminine[feminine victims.
M. Johnson dismayed the activists by telling them in a letter that this is “unfortunately not possible” and he is unable to meet them.
Last week, during a school visit, the Prime Minister was asked about the meeting requests of the COVID-19 Bereaved Families for Justice group.
“I am not aware of these letters,” he replied. “But of course, we will respond to every letter we receive. And of course, I will meet the bereaved people who have suffered from COVID. Of course, I will.
Six days later, the group, which represents more than 1,600 people who have lost a loved one to the coronavirus and is calling for an independent investigation, says it has now received a response to its fifth letter requesting a meeting.
In the letter, the Prime Minister wrote: “I am fully aware that a letter will be of little comfort in the face of the heartache and grief that families have suffered.
“However, I wanted to offer my sincere condolences to all the families who have lost loved ones due to this terrible disease.
“I know from my own experience how debilitating its effects are and I can only imagine the pain and despair of these families who have been bereaved.
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“As I work to manage the response to the pandemic, I will of course meet members of the public and key workers who have been grieving as a result of COVID-19. Every story of loss motivates me to make sure we beat this virus together. . ”
But dealing a blow to the hopes of activists, he wrote: “As much as I wish I could offer my condolences in person to all those who have suffered a loss, this is unfortunately not possible and therefore I cannot meet with you and the members. by Bereaved Families for Justice. ”
Mr Johnson added: “Regarding the issue of an independent investigation, the government has always been clear that there would be opportunities to look back, analyze and reflect on all aspects of COVID- 19. As I have made clear previously, this will include an independent investigation at the appropriate time. ”
Reacting furiously to the Prime Minister’s letter, COVID-19 Bereaved Families for Justice co-founder Jo Goodman, who lost her father Stuart to the virus, told Sky News: “It’s a U-turn followed by ‘a half turn. ”
She said: “The Prime Minister did a 360: dodging five letters, then agreeing to live TV to meet us, and now quietly telling us that he’s too busy. It is heartless.
“Of course, we know the Prime Minister cannot meet all the bereaved: but we really think he should meet with one of the largest groups of bereaved families in the country, representing over 1,600 people who have lost. loved one.
“We have the impression that we are not the right type of bereaved: as the Prime Minister only wants to meet people who will smile and do not ask difficult questions. ”
The group says it is calling for an independent statutory public inquiry, led by judges, with an urgent first phase that will report in weeks, in order to draw critical lessons that can save lives as the pandemic continues.
“We believe it is essential that the Prime Minister hear the experiences of families bereaved by COVID-19, many of whom can shed light on the serious systemic and political failures that have contributed to the deaths of their loved ones: deaths in nursing homes with inadequate protective equipment, ”Ms. Goodman said.
“We need an immediate public inquiry with a rapid first phase of reporting in order to learn lessons and save lives as the crisis continues.
“After the Hillsborough disaster, Taylor magazine reported in just 11 weeks: authorizing the deployment of changes to other football stadiums to protect the public.
“If the Prime Minister had responded to our first letter in June, a quick review could be reported right now: giving crucial lessons on how to save lives as the virus rises again, as we are seeing in places in Europe and across the country. “