UK Working Group

In April 2024, Collateral Global launched a UK Working Group to answer critical scientific questions about the country’s Covid response and future pandemic response plans.

The UK experienced 2-years of unprecedented emergency legislation, including three national lockdowns. Many policies were not evidence-based and had significant and far-reaching social harms. Yet the ongoing UK Covid Inquiry, which will run until 2026 and cost taxpayers an estimated £300 to £500 million, has been largely uncritical of the government’s policy decisions and the assumptions underpinning them.

To address this, CG has launched a UK Working Group made up of reputable academics across the country.

This builds directly on our March 2024 open letter to the UK Covid Inquiry, which was signed by 55 UK academics and received front-page coverage in The Telegraph. In this letter, we critiqued the Inquiry for various biases, lack of evidence-based approach, and failure to seriously investigate the harms of lockdown and other Covid policies.

The UK Working Group will focus on five activities:

1. An evaluation of the UK Covid response based on the state of academic research, including cost-benefit analysis, the effectiveness of NPIs, mathematical modelling, health system capacity, and other issues.

2. An evaluation of the proceedings and reports of the UK Covid Inquiry.

3. A set of high-impact research projects that address critical knowledge gaps, including the topic of excess deaths and the legacy of lockdown to young people.

4. The development of tools to influence future health emergency response, including institutional reforms to scientific advisory groups such as Sage and the UK Health Security Agency.

5. A communication and engagement plan, including an annual conference, a UK university tour, and a documentary film production.

We plan to organize a conference in the Spring of 2025 to correspond with the 5th anniversary of lockdown in London.

CG’s United Kingdom Working Group aims to synthesize the scientific evidence on the Covid pandemic response in the UK to improve evidence-based decision-making, minimize social harms from policy responses, and protect democratic rights during health emergencies.

The WG consists of academic leaders in their respective fields with diverse expertise.

Dr. Colin Alexander, Department of Journalism and Media, Nottingham Trent University

Prof. Daniel Briggs, Department of Criminology and Sociology, Northumbria University

Dr Jennie Bristow, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Canterbury Christ Church University

Prof. David Campbell, Professor of Law, Lancaster University

Dr. Robert Craig, School of Law, University of Bristol

Prof. Kevin Dowd, Professor of Finance and Economics, Durham University

Prof. Bill Durodie, Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies, University of Bath

Dr Ashley Frawley, COO Sublation Media, Sociologist, University of Kent

Prof. Paul Frijters, Department of Social Policy, London School of Economics

Prof. Marilyn James, Professor of Health Economics, University of Nottingham

Prof. Lee Jones, School of Politics and International Relations, Queen Mary University of London

Dr Nicholas Joseph, College of Arts, Humanities and Education, University of Derby

Prof. David Livermore, Department of Medical Microbiology, University of East Anglia

Dr. David McGrogan, Department of Law, Northumbria University

Prof. Paul McKeigue, The Usher Institute for Population Health Sciences and Informatics, University of Edinburgh

Prof. Yossi Nehushtan, School of Law, Keele University

Prof. Paul Ormerod, Economist, Visiting Professor, University College, London(UCL)

Prof. David Paton, Nottingham University Business School

Prof. Peter Ramsay, Law School, London School of Economics and Political Science

Prof. Matthew Ratcliffe, Department of Philosophy, University of York

Dr. Roland Salman, Formerly, Director, Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre (Wales)

Prof. Karol Sikora, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Buckingham

Sir Bernard Silverman, FRS, Emeritus Professor, Department of Statistics, University of Oxford

Prof. Neil Scolding, Clinical Neurosciences, University of Bristol

Dr Luke Telford, School of Business and Society, University of York

Prof. John Watkins, School of Medicine, Cardiff University

Prof. Roger Watson, School of Nursing, University of Hull

Dr. Meron Wondemaghen, School of Criminology, Sociology and Policing, University of Hull

Dr Paul Yowell, Associate Professor of Law, Oriel College, University of Oxford