A GLOBAL public health expert has named what she believes the UK Government’s “largest failure” was during the Covid pandemic.

Dr Devi Sridhar, a professor at the University of Edinburgh, appeared on Sky News ahead of the first public hearing of the UK Covid-19 inquiry.

Asked what the Government’s “number one largest failure” was during the pandemic, she replied: “Leadership. I think looking back we had a leader (Boris Johnson) who did not take the threat seriously, did not act fast enough, did not want to be decisive.

“If you look at the countries that did better, there was strong leadership, clear messaging and trust in those messages.”

She added: “Right now, people don’t trust necessarily what the Government’s saying. They don’t trust the health messaging and that became more and more pronounced through the pandemic.

“I think at the start you needed someone to say, there’s no way the world can continue the way it was before.

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“We need to contain this until we have a scientific solution to save lives. We don’t want to crash the economy and create cost in terms of lockdown, what else can be done?

“What are the trade-offs? How do we manage it? And the leaders that took that very seriously, saying we can’t have it all but how do we manage this in the best, balanced way possible were the countries that have come out of this with their economies relatively intact as well as their death rates quite low.”

The independent public inquiry into the UK’s response to and the impact of the pandemic was set up by Johnson.

The investigation is split into six modules, with public hearings scheduled to conclude by summer 2026, with interim reports published before then.