Boris Johnson To Face Two-Day Covid Inquiry Grilling Next Week

The prime minister will be quizzed over his heavily-criticised handling of the pandemic.
Boris Johnson will be quizzed next week.
Boris Johnson will be quizzed next week.
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Boris Johnson will appear before the Covid Inquiry for two days next week, it has been confirmed.

The former prime minister will be grilled on Wednesday and Thursday over his handling of the pandemic.

The inquiry has already seen and heard clear evidence of the chaos inside Johnson’s No.10 operation in the early weeks of the outbreak.

He is sure to be asked to explain why he initially tried to play down the threat posed by the virus, and failed to chair the early Cobra meetings co-ordinating the government’s response.

The inquiry has already heard how, in a diary entry written on September 19, 2020, chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance wrote: ”[Johnson] is all over the place and so completely inconsistent. You can see why it was so difficult to get agreement to lock down first time.”

Vallance also told the inquiry last week that Johnson had been “bamboozled” by the scientific evidence about the pandemic.

The former PM is also expected to be grilled over the lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street which saw Johnson, his wife Carrie and Rishi Sunak among more than 100 staff fined by police.

Dominic Cummings, who was Johnson’s chief adviser, claimed in his written evidence to the inquiry that at the start of 2020, the then-PM was distracted by his divorce, “financial problems” and his then-girlfriend wanting to “finalise the announcement of their engagement”.

Johnson’s former director of communications Lee Cain sent a message to Cummings in early 2020 claiming the PM “doesn’t think [Covid] is a big deal and he doesn’t think anything can be done and his focus is elsewhere”.

The message added: “He thinks it’ll be like swine flu and he thinks his main danger is talking economy into a slump.”


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