Covid-19 Public Inquiry

Lady Poole to step down as Chair

The Hon. Lady Poole is to resign as chair of the independent Scottish COVID-19 Public Inquiry.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney confirmed in a letter to MSPs that Lady Poole, a Senator of the College of Justice of Scotland, gave notice on Friday that she intends to step down from the role for personal reasons.

The Deputy First Minister said:

“I am grateful to Lady Poole for the important work she has undertaken since the establishment of this Inquiry, and for her offer to assist with the transition to her successor during a notice period of up to three months. I thank Lady Poole for her work and wish her well.

“I have already spoken with the Lord President about arrangements for appointing a new judicial chair for the independent Inquiry.

“The Inquiry team has been drawing in key information as part of the important evidence-gathering process which precedes Inquiry hearings, and that work is continuing.

“The Scottish Government, and I know the independent Inquiry team, remain committed to this vital exercise, and people who wish to can continue to engage with the Inquiry.

 “I will provide a further update to Parliament about a replacement Chair at the earliest possible opportunity.”


The Scottish COVID-19 Public Inquiry is an independent statutory inquiry, established under the Inquiries Act 2005.

The terms of reference for the inquiry cover 12 areas of investigation, each covering a strategic element of the handling of the pandemic, to identify lessons to be learned and recommendations as soon as practicable.

Find out more, including how to contact the Inquiry, at the inquiry website.


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