Wirral Labour councillors to table motion on government mishandling of Covid

As the Covid-19 inquiry continues, Wirral Labour councillors will table a motion titled Justice for Wirral Residents regarding the government’s handling of the pandemic.

Proposed by Councillor Janette Williamson (Labour, Liscard) and seconded by Councillor Paul Martin (Labour, New Brighton), the motion calls on all Group Leaders to “write to the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, and ask for an apology for the way Wirral residents have been treated by his government during Covid”.

The motion highlights that between 23 March 2020 and 20 October 2023 “a total of 1,434 Wirral residents died of Covid”, 326 of which were in care homes. The motion goes on to say that many of these deaths might have been prevented with a “responsible, compassionate, honest, and serious government. Instead, the most vulnerable were dismissed as collateral damage”.

Also addressed in the motion is a now infamous and heartless line from Boris Johnson, the then Prime Minister. As reported by Special Advisor Dominic Cummings and confirmed by Edward Udny-Lister (Johnson’s Chief of Staff), Johnson said, “Let the bodies pile high.”

Also addressed is the matter that Boris Johnson “was obsessed with older people accepting their fate and letting the young get on with life…”, as shown to the Covid inquiry from Sir Patrick Vallance’s diaries.

Continuing, the motion states that Johnson presided over a chaotic, feral, and incompetent administration which played fast and loose with people’s lives, rode roughshod over expert and academic advice, and poured billions of taxpayers’ money into PPE contracts for their friends and donors.

The motion closes with a call for “wholehearted sympathy with all those families who have lost
a loved one to Covid and hope they get closure of sorts from the Covid Inquiry” and also to extend the council’s “eternal gratitude for our tireless NHS staff, key workers, and care home staff”.

Cllr Janette Williamson told Birkenhead News, “I drafted the motion as Chair of Adult Social Care and Public Health.

“I witnessed the horror and heartbreak of Covid in our communities and care homes, where so many decisions could have had different outcomes had they been made by a competent Government who listened and acted on expert medical advice. Wirral residents deserved better than what they got.

“I wanted to put on record my thanks for everything our key workers did during the pandemic against a backdrop of chaos and rule-breaking at the heart of government. I want to thank our residents for sticking to the rules.

“I want all parties on Wirral to acknowledge the terrible errors made by the government and write to Rishi Sunak asking for a heartfelt apology for the way the pandemic was handled and the part he played in it.”

The motion will be tabled on Monday, 4 December, at the Full Council meeting.

Image credit: Mika Baumeister

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