The Covid-19 Inquiry website has gone live, setting out the goals and team of people who will run the inquiry. 

The independent public inquiry aims to examine the UK's response to the pandemic and help learn lessons for the future. 

The Right Honourable Baroness Heather Hallett DBE, has been appointed to make procedural decisions, hear evidence, and make findings and recommendations.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "I want to thank Baroness Hallett for agreeing to take on the position of Chair of the COVID-19 Inquiry.

"She brings a wealth of experience to the role and I know shares my determination that the inquiry examines in a forensic and thoroughgoing way the government’s response to the pandemic."

Baroness Hallett was the first woman to chair the Bar Council in 1998.

Wharfedale Observer: Baroness Heather Hallett (PA)Baroness Heather Hallett (PA)

After becoming a Presiding Judge, she was promoted to the Court of Appeal in 2005 and was appointed Vice-President of the Court of Appeal Criminal Division in 2013.

Baroness Hallett said:

I am honoured to be appointed to chair the COVID-19 Inquiry. The pandemic has affected us all, some much worse than others. I am acutely conscious of the suffering it has caused to so many.

In the new year I shall be seeking views from those who have lost loved ones and all other affected groups about the Inquiry’s terms of reference.

I want to assure the British public that, once the terms of reference are finalised, I shall do my utmost to ensure the Inquiry answers as many questions as possible about the UK’s response to the pandemic so that we can all learn lessons for the future.

The campaign group Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice welcomed Baroness Hallett’s appointment, but said it comes “far too late”.

Co-founder of the group Matt Fowler said: “Whilst this news is very welcome, unfortunately it comes far too late.

"We’ve been calling for an inquiry since the end of the first wave, and we will never know how many lives could have been saved had the Government had a rapid review phase in summer 2020.

Wharfedale Observer: The Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice group said it will be ‘working closely’ with Baroness Hallett (James Manning/PA)The Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice group said it will be ‘working closely’ with Baroness Hallett (James Manning/PA)

“This is a one-off, historic opportunity to learn lessons to protect lives across the country. We cannot afford to get it wrong and we look forward to working closely with Baroness Hallett to make it a success.”

The inquiry has been established under the Inquiries Act 2005 and will see the production of documents and witnesses called to give evidence on oath.

You can see the rest of the Covid-19 Inquiry team and find out more information here