“It seems apparent from Matt Hancock’s appearance at the select committee today that he blames everyone but himself and the Government for the handling of the pandemic. 


Scientists, the public and advisors are all seemingly at fault according to a Minister who suggested he was continually unaware of important details.


Even when directly challenged to agree that the first lockdown came too late he shirked the opportunity to show humility, instead choosing to speak on something else while not denying what we all know – the late lockdown cost lives.


It would seem indicative of his approach that when asked if he had said to the Prime Minister that scientists could be blamed for the handling of the pandemic early on in the crisis he could only mutter “I don’t think so”.


To hear the health secretary claim “The provision of care, at all times, to covid patients was one of the things this country got right” demonstrates how little understanding he has of what was happening on the ground – the challenges faced by frontline workers and experiences of families suggest otherwise. Had he met with us perhaps he would have been better informed.


We join Matt Hancock in hoping he can find the time to visit the National Covid Memorial Wall and hope he will meet us there so he can learn additional lessons from the stories those of us who have lost loved ones have to tell him.


Hundreds of thousands of bereaved families will have felt a shudder as Matt Hancock stated “sometimes you have to put yourself in jeopardy”. The truth is it was our loved ones who were placed in jeopardy and they paid for it with their lives.


The only clarity that today’s appearance gives is that the only way to ensure lessons are learnt and lives are sent is through a statutory inquiry that simply cannot wait till next year as is currently proposed.” Lobby Akinnola, Covid 19 Bereaved Families for Justice.