SDLP demand probe into how public cash spent during Covid crisis

The SDLP is calling for a full-scale public inquiry to be set up to investigate how politicians have made decisions during the Covid crisis.

Friday, 16th April 2021, 9:30 am
A vial of the AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 vaccine

Its MLA Colin McGrath, who is chairman of the Stormont committee in charge of scrutinising the First and Deputy First Ministers’ actions, said it should examine the choices made by ministers in the Executive and how public money has been spent.

He said the easing of restrictions yesterday was largely down to “our health service heroes”.

When it came to political leadership, he said: “Restricting people’s freedoms in the way that the Executive has over the last 12 months demands the highest standards of accountability and scrutiny.

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“That’s why I have asked the First Ministers to commit to calling a Public Inquiry to assess the decision making of Ministers throughout the crisis. This is the single greatest public health crisis in living memory, it has required the entire machinery of government to respond.

“We need to be assured that, at all times, ministers acted appropriately, that people were protected and that the strict rules around public finances were applied.”

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Alistair Bushe