“Today is a horrible, upsetting and bleak day for the over 150,000 bereaved families across the country. The evidence from Cummings is clear, that the government’s combination of grotesque chaos and uncaring flippancy is directly responsible for many of our loved ones not being with us today – and the refusal to have an urgent statutory inquiry with a rapid review phase risks others joining them.

That this information is being unveiled in a pantomime-style spat between Cummings and Johnson, littered with independence day, Jeff Goldblum and spiderman references, is utterly inappropriate and makes this even more appalling. Nothing is going to bring back our loved ones, but the very least politicians can do is treat them with dignity and respect. This spectacle is a million miles from that and has left many of the bereaved in tears of anger and pain today.

The Government’s statutory inquiry now has to start immediately and include regular interim reporting. It is clear that there are incredibly serious questions to be asked of those in power, and that waiting until next year means the information will simply be leaked in an insensitive and hurtful manner – and even worse, lead to more unnecessary deaths.” Matt Fowler, Co-Founder, Covid 19 Bereaved Families for Justice