Grieving son calls for public inquiry into Government's 'terrible' handling of Covid

26 January 2021, 18:35

By Fiona Jones

Jamie Brown's dad died of Covid within five minutes of getting to hospital - he explains to Eddie Mair why he is calling for a public inquiry into the Government's "terrible" handling of the pandemic.

Jamie has been fighting for a public inquiry since June, being a prominent campaigner in the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice UK group - however this plea has become even more urgent as the UK Covid death toll surpasses 100,000.

Jamie Brown lost his dad, Tony Brown, at 65 years old to Covid-19 on 29 March 2020. He was planning to retire a month later.

Jamie remarked that his dad was still travelling into London one day a week from Colchester, and the last time he did this was on March 12: "Still a week or so before we had our first lockdown but by all accounts about 12 days after Boris Johnson had all the information he needed and advice to call for our first lockdown - and decided not to."

Tony was ill for ten days, starting off with a cough and a fever in bed, and when he called 111 was told to take paracetamol as there was no testing available back in March.

"As far as we were aware from the news, if you had Covid it was a mild illness anyway," Jamie said, "111 said to call back if it got worse, but didn't tell him what worse would look like. No one did.

"On 28 March he started getting a tight chest, a little bit breathless, he decided that if he didn't get better in the morning he'd call for an ambulance so they waited."

The 111 line decided he "wasn't an emergency" but sent an ambulance a few hours later anyway, which he got into unassisted.

He got to Colchester General Hospital and "died within five minutes of arriving," Jamie said.

He added: "Bear in mind the Government has refused a public inquiry so far.

"But they've also refused to meet with bereaved families to give us a chance to share our stories about some commonalities that we've seen about simple practices really that could...be changed very quickly before we got to winter so we didn't reach this horrifyingly predictable death toll."

Speaking of the Government's handling of the Covid crisis more broadly, he added: "I'd say they're doing a terrible job and that's why so many people are dead."

More Eddie Mair

'Scotland is inept': Scottish caller furious over idea of IndyRef 2

'Scotland is inept': Scottish caller outraged at idea of IndyRef 2

Texas Republican: Ensuring doors work properly will stop school shootings

Texas Republican: Ensuring doors work properly will stop school shootings

'You don't need a crystal ball!': Furious Eddie Mair corners Tory MP on cost of living crisis

'You don't need a crystal ball!': Furious Eddie Mair corners Tory MP on cost of living crisis

Exclusive
Kremlin chaos: Putin 'constantly surrounded by doctors' as illness throws regime in disarray

Putin 'constantly surrounded by doctors' as illness throws Kremlin into chaos

Tory MP: 'Oil companies have a cartel monopoly' over consumers

Tory MP: 'Oil companies have a cartel monopoly' over consumers

Jack Monroe slams Tory MP's 'abhorrent' food bank comments

Jack Monroe slams Tory MP's 'abhorrent' food bank comments

Tory MP accuses peer of 'hyperbole' over anti-protest bill concerns

Tory MP accuses peer of 'hyperbole' over anti-protest bill concerns

'Prime Minister in waiting!' Starmer saluted after Covid fine resignation pledge

'Prime Minister in waiting!' Starmer saluted after Covid fine resignation pledge

From Covid infection to being fined: Eddie Mair's painstaking timeline on partygate and Boris

From Covid infection to the fine: Eddie Mair's painstaking timeline on partygate and Boris

Partygate fines: Eddie Mair grills Tory MP Sir Roger Gale over PM future

Partygate fines: Eddie Mair grills Tory MP over PM's future

'He set the rules and broke them!' Eddie Mair's tense clash with caller defending PM

'He set the rules and broke them!' Eddie Mair's tense clash with caller defending PM

Sir David Amess' murderer achieved 'absolutely nothing', campaigner declares

Sir David Amess' murderer achieved 'absolutely nothing', campaigner declares

Bereaved father details failings of 'swamped' NHS mental health services

Bereaved father details failings of 'swamped' NHS mental health services

Eddie Mair is to retire from broadcasting later this year

Eddie Mair to retire from broadcasting

Mariupol resident shares harrowing account of Russia's barbaric siege

Mariupol resident shares harrowing account of Putin's barbaric siege

Putin's negotiators 'becoming softer' in peace talks, Zelenskyy advisor reveals

Putin's negotiators 'becoming softer' in peace talks, Zelenskyy advisor reveals