Boris Johnson to disclaim saying ‘let the our bodies pile excessive’ regardless of testimony of pal
Boris Johnson will deny he mentioned he was prepared to “let the bodies pile high” as he seems on the Covid Inquiry tomorrow.
The former PM faces a troublesome two-day grilling on Wednesday and Thursday over his management of the nation throughout the pandemic. He beforehand denied to Parliament that he had made the horrifying comment, however his former chief-of-staff Lord Lister final month advised the inquiry that he heard Mr Johnson say it throughout a gathering in September 2020.
As he seems underneath oath, Mr Johnson will keep that he didn’t use the phrase and argue there aren’t any emails, WhatsApps or messages from the time to indicate that he did. Although it’s unclear how he’ll clarify the testimony of his long-term pal Lord Lister.
The former PM may also be questioned about bombshell diary entries written by Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, who mentioned he was “obsessed with older people accepting their fate and letting the young get on with life and the economy going”.
In December 2020, the top scientist recorded that Mr Johnson had told him that Conservative MPs think “the whole thing is pathetic and Covid is just nature’s way of dealing with old people”, before adding: “I am not entirely sure I disagree with them.”
An ally of Mr Johnson said: “He is certainly not pointing any fingers of blame or getting into any of the personality politics. He of course realises that as Prime Minister he had the ultimate responsibility for everything that happened in Government at every level and he does not shirk that.”
Mr Johnson is likely to be asked about Rishi Sunak’s Eat Out To Help Out scheme, which critics have warned helped the spread of the virus. The Covid Inquiry has heard the former PM referred to the Treasury under his leadership as the “pro-death squad”.
But Mr Johnson is expected to try to avoid intensifying hostilities with his friend-turned-foe as he gives evidence. “I don’t think he will take any personal swipe at Rishi Sunak. I don’t think he’s got any reason to,” a source said.
Families who lost loved ones are expected to gather outside the Covid Inquiry near Paddington in West London as Mr Johnson is called as a witness. Mr Sunak is due to give evidence next week.
A spokesman for Mr Johnson said: “Boris Johnson looks forward to assisting the Covid Inquiry with its important work.”