Defence Committee launches inquiry into UK’s pandemic response

14 May 2020 (Last Updated May 14th, 2020 11:09)

The UK Parliament's Defence Select Committee has announced it is holding an inquiry into defence's contribution to the response to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The focus of the inquiry will be looking into the "military’s preparedness and resilience, the nature and effectiveness of the Armed Forces’ support of civilian authorities during the pandemic, and the pressure that directing focus towards the pandemic places on our forces."

Four issues key to the inquiry will be:

  • The Armed Forces resilience and preparedness for a pandemic.
  • The role of the Armed Forces in supporting civil authorities.
  • Evaluating defence's contribution to the response.
  • And, how the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has ensured adversaries do not take advantage of the pandemic.

MP and Chair of the Defence Select Committee Tobias Ellwood said: "

“The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is the greatest and most immediate threat this country currently faces. This inquiry will investigate the integral role of military organisations at times of acute crises such as these.

“Alongside others, the Armed Forces have helped lead the charge and fought on the frontline in our battle against this devastating, destructive and invisible enemy. From helping to build the Nightingale hospitals, to facilitating testing, the Armed Forces have been unhesitating and unwavering in their contribution to the heroic effort against coronavirus.

“It is vital that we take this opportunity to reflect on the nature of Defence’s contribution at all levels including Cabinet level-strategic planning, local resilience efforts and support taskings including transport and logistics."