July 15, 2020 / 11:50 AM / a month ago

Johnson commits to coronavirus inquiry, but not yet

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during the weekly question time debate in Parliament, in London, Britain July 15, 2020, in this screen grab taken from a video. Parliament TV/Reuters TV via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson committed on Wednesday to holding an inquiry into the country’s handling of the coronavirus crisis but said now was not the time as the battle to combat the pandemic was ongoing.

Opposition lawmakers have been pressing for an inquiry after ministers were criticised for being too slow to lock down, to introduce mass testing and to deliver protective equipment.

Johnson has repeatedly said his government took the right decisions at the right time but also admits that lessons will have to be learned after the pandemic which has left Britain as one of the worst affected countries.

“We will seek to learn the lessons of this pandemic in the future and certainly we will have an independent inquiry into what happened,” he told parliament.

His spokesman declined to comment further on the inquiry, but said further details would be set out “in due course”.

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper, writing by Sarah Young; editing by Stephen Addison

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