Baroness Hallett named as chair of the Covid pandemic public inquiry

The retired Court of Appeal judge and crossbench peer acted as coroner for the inquest into deaths of the 52 victims of 7/7

Baroness Health Hallett led the 7/7 inuiry

Image: PA)

Boris Johnson has named Baroness Hallett as chair of the public inquiry into the Government’s handling of the Covid pandemic.

The announcement has been welcomed by families as “a positive step” after more than 1,200 signed an open letter to the Prime Minister urging him to announce the key figure before parliament’s Christmas recess begins on Thursday.

Baroness Hallett is a retired Court of Appeal judge and crossbench peer who is widely respected in the legal profession, having acted as coroner in the inquest into the deaths of the 52 victims of the 7/7 London bombings.

She is currently acting as coroner in the inquest into the death of Dawn Sturgess, who died in July 2018 following exposure to the nerve agent Novichok.

The Covid inquiry is expected to begin in spring but with the arrival of the Omicron virus many fear it will be delayed.

Covid-19 Families for Justice, which represents more than 4,000 families who lost loved ones to coronavirus, wants Baroness Hallett to commit to a “rapid review phase” as part of the inquiry, so the Government can learn lessons from 2020.

Matt Fowler, co-founder, whose father Ian died in 2020, said “The inquiry could and should be an historic and positive process from which the terrible suffering and loss of past 18 months are learned from, to ensure these tragedies are not repeated in the future. Today is finally a positive step in making that happen.

Matt Fowler at the National Covid Memorial Wall in London


Daily Mirror/Ian Vogler)

“Everyone agrees that the focus of the inquiry must be on saving lives in the future, and that means that those who have been most affected, including bereaved families, must be at its heart. We must now be fully consulted on the Terms of Reference, and given core participant status, so that our stories and loss are learned from to protect the lives of others.

‘Whilst this news is very welcome, unfortunately it comes far too late. We’ve been calling for an inquiry since the end of the first wave, and we will never know how many lives could have been saved had the Government had a rapid review phase in Summer 2020. With the Omicron variant upon us, the inquiry really cannot come soon enough.

“This is a one off, historic opportunity to learn lessons to protect lives across the country. We cannot afford to get it wrong and we look forward to working closely with Baroness Hallett to make it a success.”

We’ll be bringing you the very latest updates, pictures and video on this breaking news story.

Please check back regularly for updates on this developing story HERE . Get email updates on

the day’s biggest stories straight to your inbox by signing up for our newsletters .

Get all the big headlines, pictures, analysis, opinion and video on the stories that matter to you by following The Mirror every time you see our name.

  • Follow The Mirror on Google News – CLICK HERE and click the star

  • Follow The Mirror on Apple News – CLICK HERE available on Apple devices

  • Follow The Mirror on Flipboard – CLICK HERE and click follow

You can sign up for Twitter alerts for breaking news here @MirrorBreaking_ and follow us @DailyMirror , for all the latest updates.

Keep up-to-date with your must-see news, features, videos and pictures throughout the day by following us on Facebook at

See all our social accounts you can follow here:

Read More

Covid bereaved families tell Boris Johnson to “show respect” and name inquiry chair before Christmas

Read More

Grieving families say loved ones who died last Christmas as No10 partied were ‘betrayed’

Recommended For You