CALLS have been made for a parliamentary inquiry into the UK government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
It comes after new figures showed the number of people dying from COVID-19 in the UK were five times higher than in Germany. Figures reveal Germany has recorded 191,216 cases of COVID-19 and 8,691 deaths as of this morning among a population of 83 million.
But the UK has had five times more deaths than Germany despite having a smaller population, recording 303,110 cases and 42,589 deaths among a population of 66 million.
The figures, politicians say, raise questions as to how successfully Prime Minister Boris Johnson has managed the pandemic.
Munira Wilson MP, Liberal Democrat Health spokesperson, told Express.co.uk: “With the international comparisons there to be seen as clear as day, Boris Johnson cannot hide from his repeated failings.
“Once we are through this crisis, there must be an independent inquiry with the strongest possible powers to review the Governments actions, so we can learn lessons.”
The MP for Twickenham added: “With the Coronavirus crisis leaving the most vulnerable at risk, it is the job of the Prime Minister to ensure no one is left behind.
“From a dangerous lack of PPE to a test and trace plan that is in disarray, it is clear Ministers have failed to prepare properly and have created further problems by badly communicating their plans.”
Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer also took a swipe at Boris Johnson over the rising number of coronavirus deaths.
Sir Keir said: “The governments daily total figures of those who have died from coronavirus has gone past 40,000.
“The ONS [Office for National Statistics] figures, which records cases where coronavirus is on the death certificate, stands at just over 50,000 and the number of excess deaths, which is an awful phrase, stands at over 63,000.
“These are amongs the highest numbers in the world. The prime minister said he was proud of the governments record but theres no pride in those figures.
“There is little solace to the families that have lost someone to be told this is too early to compare and to learn from other countries.”
Ian Mulheirn, Executive Director and Chief Economist of The Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, added: “Public confidence in the governments handling of the coronavirus pandemic is ebbing away.
“The real-world consequences of this loss of trust are serious.
“Even before the Cummings row, confidence had declined more here than in any other European country. In the wake of it, trust will plumb new depths.”
In response, a government spokesperson said: “This has been an unprecedented global outbreak and the government has acted to protect lives, incomes and the most vulnerable in our society.
“As the Prime Minister has said, in the future there will be an opportunity for us to look back, to reflect and to learn some profound lessons. But at the moment, the most important thing to do is to focus on responding to the current situation and thats exactly what were doing.”
However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson added that his government took each death seriously and urged severe caution when analysing the death rate and making comparisons.