BORIS Johnson today apologised for the "pain and loss of life" experienced during the pandemic and admitted he should’ve acted sooner.
In his opening remarks at a showdown hearing of the Covid Inquiry, the ex-PM said: "Can I just say how glad I am to be at this Inquiry and how sorry I am for the pain and the loss and the suffering of the Covid victims."
The ex-PM admitted he "underestimated" the threat of the virus and "should have twigged" once it gripped it Italy.
As he apologised, Boris was heckled by members of the public sitting in the Inquiry viewing gallery.
A sign was unfurled reading: "The Dead can’t hear your apologies."
Protesters were ordered to leave the room by Chair Lady Hallet.
Early in his testimony Boris admitted that "we got things wrong".
He confessed to the £100m Inquiry, which critics have slammed as a waste of time, that "unquestionably" things should’ve been done differently.
The ex-PM said: "Inevitably in the course of trying to handle a very, very difficult pandemic in which we had to balance appalling harms on either side of the decision, we may have made mistakes.
"I think we were doing our best at the time, given what we knew."
He added: "With hindsight, it may be easy to see things that we could have done differently or it may be possible to see things that we could have done differently.
"At the time, I felt and I know that everybody else felt that we were doing our best in very difficult circumstances to protect life and protect the NHS."
Asked by inquisitor Hugo Keith KC if his decisions led to anyone dying from Covid who otherwise wouldn’t have, Boris responded: "I’m not sure."
"Irrespective of government action, we have an elderly population, extremely elderly population," he said.
"We do suffer, sadly, from lots of Covid-related comorbidities and we are a very, very densely populated country.
"That did not help."
Asked about whether there was a toxic atmosphere in No10, Boris admitted his administration had a lot of "challenging and competing characters" but caveated that they got "an awful lot done".
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