Burnham: Covid-19 inquiry will reveal ‘worst traits’ of Westminster system

·1 min read
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham (Peter Byrne/PA) (PA Wire)
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham (Peter Byrne/PA) (PA Wire)

The promised Covid-19 public inquiry will reveal the need for British society to be “completely rewired”, Andy Burnham said.

The Greater Manchester Mayor said the pandemic had demonstrated the inequality in the country, with some people able to stay at home on Zoom while others were forced to work in unsafe environments without the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE).

The Government intends to begin the inquiry process in spring 2022, but Labour has called for it to commence sooner.

At a fringe event at the Labour conference in Brighton, Mr Burnham said the inquiry “will reveal how our country is run” and show “some of the worst traits of that Whitehall and Westminster system”.

(PA Graphics) (PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics) (PA Graphics)

He said: “It will tell you about ministers too close to the private sector, ministers too close to newspapers.

“It will tell you about local government being completely disregarded, ridden roughshod over.

“It will tell you about the north of England crying out for help, being absolutely brushed aside.

“It will tell you all the things that are wrong with the way this country is run.”

He added: “Britain needs to be completely rewired, there needs to be much more power taken out of Westminster and Whitehall and given to people at the local level, so that the pandemic response could have been run properly from that local level.”

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