CAMPAIGNERS who lost loved ones to Covid say it is "shameful" Wales has not pledged to hold its own inquiry into the handling of the pandemic.

Bereaved families have compared their struggle for scrutiny to the years-long fight for justice by relatives of Hillsborough disaster victims.

Mark Drakeford has decided Wales should be a part of the UK-wide independent inquiry rather than hold its own version, because - he said previously - the "best way to get a proper understanding of the decisions we made is to see them in the wider context".

Campaigners told a Senedd committee they feared there were "no guarantees that Wales will be scrutinised in a UK inquiry, whereas we would have in a Wales-specific one".

Ministers here say they have been assured Wales wouldn't be treated as a "footnote" in A UK-wide probe. 

The Welsh Government narrowly won a vote on the matter last December, and despite frequent calls from campaigners and politicians, the first minister has stood firm in his view Wales would benefit more from an inquiry that compared its pandemic response to the rest of the UK's.

Campaigners said Wales would be an "outlier" if it failed to hold its own investigation, given the decision by devolved governments in Scotland and Northern Ireland to have their own inquiries.

More recently, there are concerns the agenda for the UK inquiry could fall short of what is originally promised because "the UK prime minister is the sponsor, appoints the chair, sets the terms of reference and can change them, and [sets the] working practices", the campaigners said.

The Senedd's petitions committee has now agreed to write to Mr Drakeford, urging him to consider the "strong feeling expressed" by campaigners. Chairman Jack Sargeant said acknowledged the "highly emotive issue" but said there was little the committee could do beyond writing to Mr Drakeford. 

The Welsh Government's stance on the matter hasn't wavered in recent months.

Health minister Eluned Morgan told the committee recently Welsh ministers had made "concerted representations to the prime minister to ensure the experiences of people in Wales will be properly and thoroughly reflected in the inquiry and that the decisions made by the Welsh Government and other Welsh public services are properly scrutinised by the inquiry team".

However, this doesn't go far enough for campaigners, who told the committee: "There have been no investigations in Wales into any Covid deaths over the last two years... and this is a shameful position for Wales.

"We find ourselves in a similar position to those who lost loved ones at Hillsborough. We hoped that a Welsh Labour Government would be there to support us."