Afua Hirsch, author of Brit(ish) and former barrister, criticised the government’s tone regarding the virus on BBC Question Time yesterday, accusing it of “congratulating itself”.
Boris Johnson said towards the end of last month that the UK had achieved an “apparent success” against Covid-19.
But it comes as the UK this week became the worst-affected country in Europe in terms of deaths from the virus.
Hirsch called for more honesty from the government, and said: “For me, to hear our government congratulating itself on the way it’s handled this outbreak – it’s insulting to the people who continue to die every day.
“What I would like to see is some honesty from the government acknowledging that this was not well handled, that mistakes have been made, and telling us clearly and transparently what they intend to do differently."
She added that: “At the moment, the gulf between what we’re experiencing – the number of people who are dying, the heartbreaking scenarios of people dying alone often in unnecessary circumstances because we haven’t got a grip on this – and the government’s rhetoric is only losing further trust and I think that trust is important right now.”
Hirsch said the government should acknowledge that (Image: BBC)
She concluded: “Until the government shows some honesty and integrity, we can’t even begin to see how we can move forward.”
Hirsch is not the only one who has suggested that there have been government failings in its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
John Grace, a parliamentary sketch writer for the Guardian, wrote: “Everyone knows there’s a public inquiry coming down the track as soon as the pandemic is over, and no one is willing to be hung out to dry as the fall guy.”
In Number 10’s daily coronavirus press briefing, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab admitted that there had been “real challenges” in the UK’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak, particularly with personal protective equipment (PPE)