By Democrat reporter

Jackie Baillie, the Labour MSP for Dumbarton, has sought reassurances from the First Minister that the public inquiry  into Covid 19 is wide-ranging – and that it will definitely take place after the upcoming election.

She told Nicola Sturgeon: “Age Scotland, Engender, Inclusion Scotland and around 20 other civil society organisations have written to you, welcoming your commitment to a public inquiry into Covid-19.

“They are asking you to work with civil society to take a human rights-based approach and consider the impact on a wide range of groups, including care home residents, front-line staff, women, people from the black and ethnic minority community and older people.

“Will the First Minister ensure that the remit captures all of that, and, given the length of time that public inquiries take, will she commission that inquiry now and ensure that it reports in interim phases?”

The FM said she had already given a commitment to a human rights-based approach to a public inquiry.

She added: “I believe that we still might be the only Government in the UK that has given a clear commitment to a public inquiry, but, if I am wrong about that, I stand to be corrected.

“We will work with civil society as we decide the remit and take all the other decisions that have to be taken.

“That decision has already been taken in principle. Given that the Parliament is about to break for an election, I think that it will be—I hope that the status of the virus will allow this—a priority for the incoming Administration to get the public inquiry properly up and running.

“If that incoming Administration is me and this Government, we will take that inquiry forward as quickly as possible. If it is somebody else and another Government, I hope that they will have the same commitment to doing likewise.”

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