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'I take full responsibility', Johnson says about care home comments

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during the weekly question time debate in Parliament in London, Britain July 8, 2020, in this screen grab taken from video. Parliament TV/Reuters TV via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday he took full responsibility for the government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, denying that he was trying to blame care workers for the spread of COVID-19.

Johnson has been criticised for saying some care homes did not follow procedures to stem the spread of COVID-19 deaths and was repeatedly asked by opposition Labour leader Keir Starmer to apologise. The prime minister did not do so.

“The last thing I wanted to do is to blame care workers for what has happened, for any of them to think that I was blaming them,” Johnson told parliament.

“When it comes to taking blame, I take full responsibility for what has happened. The one thing that nobody knew early on during this pandemic was that the virus was being passed asymptomatically from person to person in the way that it is, and that’s why the guidance and procedures changed.”

Reporting by Kate Holton and Elizabeth Piper; editing by Stephen Addison