Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson today said he was deeply sorry for the loss of life related to the covid-19 disease as he testified at an inquiry into the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. This was reported by the Reuters agency. Johnson also admitted in the deposition that the government “did some things wrong” but tried to do its best, he said.
“I am deeply sorry for the pain, loss and suffering of the victims and their families,” Johnson said at the start of the two-day hearing. During it, among other things, he will explain his initial reluctance to introduce a nationwide lockdown in early 2020 and other major decisions of his government.
Johnson also admitted the mistakes of his cabinet. One of them was its gender imbalance. “I think that sometimes during the pandemic many meetings were too dominated by men,” the ex-prime minister explained of the toxic work environment in his government between 2020 and 2021.
The course of Johnson’s testimony was emotional. It was even interrupted due to protests by critics of the ex-prime minister. Relatives of victims wanted to confront Johnson, for example, over claims he told colleagues he would rather see large numbers of people die than order a second shutdown. Britain ended up with one of the highest death tolls in the world during the pandemic. The virus has killed more than 230,000 people in the country and infected many millions more.
Johnson left Downing Street in 2022 when it was revealed that he had been throwing wild parties at his mansion during the pandemic, in breach of his own rules.