A leading trade union figure is calling for the covid inquiry to be brought forward to expose how the Johnson government's corruption and mishandling of the crisis has cost UK lives and brought ruin to the economy.

Ahead of the national demonstration being held in London tomorrow (Saturday, 26 June) by the People's Assembly, Steve Turner, Unite's assistant general secretary, has warned that while the Tories are making 'millionaires out of their mates with our money', it is cuts and yet more austerity for the rest of the country.

Steve Turner is also calling on the Labour Party to 'find its radical voice -  and fast'.  

This is because the country urgently needs a powerful and vocal opposition to a rotten government which has failed the nation, handing billions on ‘mate rates’ to friends and supporters while leaving the UK with a jobs crisis, the greatest number of Covid deaths and the biggest economic hit in Europe. 

Steve Turner will tell the London demo: "This government is rotten through and through, using our money to make millionaires out of its mates with levels of institutionalised corruption that would make even Al Capone blush.

"We have a youth jobs crisis, shocking levels of child poverty and hunger, a desperate need for investment in social care, schools and our wonderful NHS, and an urgent need for a proper pathway out of this crisis.  

"This government's shocking mishandling of this crisis has seen UK deaths and an economic hit that are among the worst in the world. Lives have been lost or destroyed because Boris Johnson dithered on key decisions so to recover our country we need a covid inquiry now, not when it suits the Tories.

"They open up the cheque-book for their mates, hosing them down with our money, but when it comes to investing in our children, they shame our nation once again, offering not even a lousy pound a week per child to help them with catch-up while the USA offers $1,600.

"It's the same story with those who put their lives on the line through this crisis.  There's no cash to pay them properly but there's £200m for a boat that even the Queen agrees is a useless idea.

"And while we see our NHS as the greatest agency for fairness and equality in this country, Johnson and Hancock see it as something to parcel up for their mates to monetise.  Nurses, porters, GPs and desk staff are working their hearts out to protect us but this government repays their dedication by handing £10 billion of our cash to private health providers. We want that money back and those services back home in the NHS where they belong.

"They turn a blind eye to bad bosses when they fire and rehire our workers, and are a danger to our democracy, demeaning our right to protest as a 'nuisance', seeking to silence the people of England and Wales.

"This government is a disgrace and we vow today to show them the door at the earliest opportunity.

"But I say to Labour too, find your radical voice again - and fast.  The Tories will never deliver for our communities - only Labour can build the new economy we desperately need with fairness front and centre.  

"Shout from the rooftops about the change you will deliver, inspire voters and call out this miserable scandal-ridden government.  

"Stop heading down cul-de-sacs, turning on members rather than Tories and ditching popular policies that gave the voters a clear idea of what Labour stood for: real change, hope and a fairer society.

"Let voters look at you and see a genuine alternative, a reason to vote and the promise of a government that will serve us and not their rich cronies.  

"Find your voice as an opposition and roar - because if you don't, neither history nor we will forgive you.  

"We have that window now to be brave, confident and inspiring. Don’t let us down."