Although it was much trailed by his allies, Boris Johnson’s apology for mistakes made in the pandemic turned out to be pretty half-hearted. He didn’t even use the A-word in his opening remarks, saying: “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?”
He went further in his 200-page written statement, which is due to be published on Thursday. “We – I – unquestionably made mistakes, and for those I unreservedly apologise,” he wrote. “There was terrible suffering, which we did our best to alleviate, and, where we failed, I apologise again.”
Yet he appeared to row back in a revealing exchange when Hugo Keith KC, the Covid inquiry’s counsel, asked him to say precisely what he was apologising for. Johnson replied: “We may have made mistakes”, but declined to “itemise them […] in a hierarchy”.
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