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Why did so many people die in the UK during the coronavirus pandemic? Did the government fail at the time? This was to be explained by former Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday before the British Corona Committee of Inquiry. But instead, it was often said:

Boris Johnson, former Prime Minister

"I don't remember the exact reason"

Some of the politician's answers were so vague that the chairwoman of the committee of inquiry finally intervened.

Heather Hallett, Chair of the Committee of Inquiry

"We need to make sure that this hearing is effective, not just for the people in this hearing room, but also for the people watching in online streaming. So please ensure that your conduct is appropriate for a public hearing on such an inquiry."

Nevertheless, the 59-year-old retreated several times to alleged memory lapses. Even and especially when it comes to direct and critical questions such as whether he himself has deleted evidence in the form of WhatsApp messages from his mobile phone.

After all, the ex-prime minister admitted in the end that his government had not taken the virus seriously enough:

Boris Johnson, former Prime Minister

"I think it's safe to say that I, the entire Whitehall establishment, including the scientific community and our advisors, have underestimated the scale and speed of the challenge."

This miscalculation has cost the lives of more than 200,000 people in the UK. Her family gathered to protest during Johnson's hearing on Wednesday.

Charlotte Lynch, protester

"He needs to stand up and take responsibility and accountability for what he's done instead of lying. He didn't even have the decency to visit us today. He was the first to sneak in this morning because he didn't want to face the bereaved. I think that says everything you need to know about Boris Johnson."

During his time in office, Johnson was embroiled in numerous scandals. Above all, the so-called "Partygate" finally even led to his resignation. In doing so, the then head of government had violated Corona regulations to celebrate his birthday - and then consistently denied every accusation for months.