THIS week we saw a report published by two UK Parliament committees, made up of Conservative, Labour and SNP MPs, on the UK’s handling of the Covid-19 outbreak, and as we continue to live with the virus, this study focused on the early stages of the pandemic and the response from the UK Government.

The report is damning and confirms what many of us already knew: that the UK’s pandemic planning was not fit for purpose.

A lack of testing and data in the first months of the pandemic led to poor decision-making and, in one of the most heart-breaking confirmations, the report directly linked the failures of Government to thousands of elderly people dying in care homes.

These devastating failures weren’t just being implemented by those in power in Westminster though.

We know from our own experience that for much of those stages of the pandemic, Nicola Sturgeon and her Scottish Government were in lockstep with the UK Government.

And in so doing, ignored the very same warnings, took too long to act and delayed communication to the wider public about the severity of the situation.

At the beginning of the crisis, as we were all looking to those in power for guidance and advice, the First Minister overruled her own health advisers to cover-up an outbreak in Edinburgh; failed to act on the warnings which were presented in pandemic readiness exercises; and continued to allow older patients who had tested positive for the virus back into care homes. These are unforgivable decisions with catastrophic consequences.

Whilst MPs have the opportunity to present their report and hold the Tory government to account over it, MSPs in Scotland haven’t been given that same chance to scrutinise the SNP in Holyrood over their own often identical failures.

My Scottish Labour colleagues in Holyrood have been pushing for a detailed inquiry into Scottish Government Covid-19 failings to be brought forward as soon as possible.

The damning errors revealed in the UK Parliament’s joint committee report has only reiterated the importance of a Scottish specific report, so that our devolved government can learn lessons for the future.

The past 20 months have changed how we live. This pandemic has forced unprecedented changes upon us. We know that it continues to devastate communities across our city.

If we truly believe that our priority now must be rebuilding and recovering, not going back to the “old normal” but working towards that better society, we need a Scottish Government willing to be open, honest and committed to learning from their failures.

That begins with an inquiry into the actions of the SNP Scottish Government.

Those in power must be held accountable for the decisions they made during this pandemic and thousands of families are still waiting for answers, we owe it to them to continue fighting so they can get them.