BORIS Johnson "wanted to be injected with Covid-19 on television" to calm public fears, the Covid Inquiry has heard.

The claim came from a witness statement given to the inquiry by Lord Lister, a former aide to the ex-Prime Minister.

He said Johnson "suggested to senior civil servants and advisers that he wanted to be injected with Covid-19 on television to demonstrate to the public that it did not pose a threat".

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Calling it an "unfortunate comment" that had been made "in the heat of the moment", Lister said the comment was made at a time when Covid-19 was not seen as a serious threat.

Lister worked with Johnson both during his time as Prime Minister as well as Mayor of London.

He added that there was a "lot of tension that was taking place" in Downing Street, and that senior aide Dominic Cummings was "not an easy man to deal with".

The inquiry has so far seen mounting criticism from some of the country's leading scientific advisers, including Sir Chris Whitty - Chief Medical Officer for England - who referred to the then-Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak's Eat Out To Help Out policy as "eat out to help out the virus".

During the session, Lister was also asked about the government's relationship with the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales during the pandemic.

Lister admitted there was a "great deal of mistrust and frustration" towards the Scottish Government from Downing Street, and that Johnson and then-First Minister Nicola Sturgeon "generally didn't like each other very much".

Asked if he felt the Scottish Government was being "opportunistic" during the pandemic, Lister responded: "I think that is a good word."