Asked by opposition Labour leader Keir Starmer whether he accepted the central allegations of Cummings’ testimony to a parliamentary committee, Johnson said “No.”
“I don’t think anybody could credibly accuse this government of being complacent about the threat that this virus posed, at any point. We have worked flat out to minimise loss of life.”
Earlier, Cummings said his ex-boss failed in the COVID-19 crisis and ministers fell “disastrously short” of the standards the public had a right to expect during the most devastating global pandemic in decades.
Johnson also said: “The handling of this pandemic has been one of the most difficult things this country’s had to do for a very long time but none of the decisions have been easy.
“To go into a lockdown is a traumatic thing for a country, to deal with a pandemic on the scale has been appallingly difficult.”