AN inquiry into killer nurse Lucy Letby could be made statutory, No10 confirmed last night.
Ministers are under pressure to upgrade a planned probe to ensure witnesses can be compelled to present evidence.
A probe into killer nurse Lucy Letby could become statutory, No10 confirmed last night[/caption]
This morning Education Secretary Gillian Keegan insisted “nothing is off the table”.
She told Times Radio: “I was speaking to the Prime Minister yesterday and he made it really clear that what we need to do is make sure the families get answers, we learn the lessons as well, and it is a very transparent process that everyone can get behind.”
The government still needs to appoint a chair of the inquiry and then terms of reference need to be decided.
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Ms Keegan added: “The chair will work with the families to look at the terms of reference, discuss the pros and cons of different types of inquiry, and then they will come to a conclusion.
“But it is most important that the families get the answers that they need and that they deserve and that it is a transparent process which gives us the lessons learned as well.
“There are pros and cons to the two types of inquiry, so when the chair works with them on the terms of reference that will be something that they can input to them.”
Labour boss Sir Keir Starmer last night added his voice to the list of people calling for a statutory probe.
He said: “That’s what the victims’ family want and after what they’ve been through, I think that is a really important consideration.
“What a statutory inquiry gives you is the power to order documents, to order witnesses to come forward.
“So we get the fullest, proper, comprehensive analysis of what went wrong here.”
Former justice minister, Conservative peer and barrister David Wolfson KC told Times Radio: “I think it’s very likely to end up as a statutory inquiry, because it would seem to me that whoever leads the inquiry is going to have to have the powers to compel witnesses to attend and to require documents to be produced.”
Sir Robert Francis KC, who chaired the inquiry into serious care failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, said the families of Letby’s victims should be the ones to decide.
He told Times Radio: “A chair should be appointed to consult with the interested parties, to consult with the tragic families that have been involved in this, to find out what they want, and you may find there’s not one united voice about this.
“So I would ask them what they feel they want and why they want it and indeed other people.”
Twisted Letby was last week found guilty of murdering seven babies during a nearly 10-month trial.
She was also convicted of attempting to kill six other newborns.
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She is expected to serve her sentence at HMP Low Newton.