LONDON — Boris Johnson was heckled by protesters during Britain’s COVID-19 inquiry as he said he was “deeply sorry” for mistakes his government made during the pandemic.
Moments after the former Prime Minister was sworn in at the Paddington Inquiry Centre, he began apologizing for the “pain, loss and suffering” that has occurred during the coronavirus pandemic. But he was quickly interrupted by the chair of the inquiry, Heather Hallett, who ordered protesters in the public gallery to sit down.
After refusing to do so, four protesters – who were silent, but holding signs targeting Johnson – were removed.
Responding after the interruption, Johnson said he could “understand the feelings of these victims and their families” and said he was “deeply sorry for the pain, loss and suffering of these victims and their families.” families”.
He paid tribute to the “hundreds of thousands of health care workers and many other public servants and people from all walks of life who have helped protect our country throughout a terrible pandemic.”
“I hope that this investigation will help move beyond the very difficult questions that these victims and families are rightly asking, so that we can better protect ourselves, (and)… protect ourselves better in the future.” »
Britain’s COVID-19 death toll has passed 230,000 people, and the investigation so far has painted Johnson’s administration in an unfavorable light.
Former officials described him as “embarrassed” by scientific modeling and “obsessed with older people accepting their fate”, while Johnson is expected to be pressed by an incendiary claim he said “let the bodies pile up” when discussing easing. containment restrictions.