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Sunak speech backfires as Covid Inquiry report reveals his mistakes

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Rishi Sunak has faced a humiliating interruption during his first Conservative Party conference speech as prime minister, as the UK Covid-19 Inquiry released a damning report on his handling of the pandemic.

According to a report by Mirror on Wednesday, October 4,2023, the inquiry, chaired by former judge Baroness Hallett, accused Mr Sunak of “serious failures” in decision-making, communication and coordination that led to “avoidable deaths and suffering” among the British public.

The report, which was published online at 11.45am on Tuesday, coincided with Mr Sunak’s speech in Manchester, where he was trying to rally his party and present himself as the “change candidate” for the next election.

The report said that Mr Sunak had ignored or overruled scientific advice on several occasions, such as delaying the first lockdown in March 2020, easing restrictions too quickly in the summer of 2020, and refusing to impose a circuit-breaker lockdown in October 2020.

It also criticised Mr Sunak for failing to consult or cooperate with the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, creating confusion and inconsistency in the UK’s response to Covid-19.

The report said that Mr Sunak had prioritised the economy over public health, and had not provided adequate support for key sectors such as health and social care, education and hospitality.

It said that Mr Sunak had made “unrealistic and misleading” promises about the availability and effectiveness of vaccines and therapeutics, and had not prepared the country for the emergence of new variants.

The report concluded that Mr Sunak had shown “a lack of leadership, vision and empathy” during the pandemic, and had “failed to protect the lives and livelihoods of the British people”.

The publication of the report caused an immediate uproar among the media, the opposition and some Tory MPs, who demanded Mr Sunak’s resignation or a vote of no confidence.

Mr Sunak, who was unaware of the report until after his speech, appeared stunned and flustered when he was confronted by reporters outside the conference hall.

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He said that he had not read the report yet, but that he would “study it carefully” and “respond in due course”.

He defended his record as prime minister, saying that he had faced “an unprecedented challenge” and had “done his best” to save lives and jobs.

He also said that he was “proud” of his achievements in delivering Brexit, scrapping HS2, raising the smoking age and reforming education.

He refused to answer questions about his future as prime minister, saying that he was “focused on delivering for the country”.

He then left the conference venue amid boos and jeers from some delegates and protesters.

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Birminghamgist Staff is a News Reporter, making waves in the UK with insightful and Engaging reporting.

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