FOOTAGE has shown former prime minister Boris Johnson arriving at the UK Covid-19 Inquiry three hours early.

The former Tory leader is to face the first of two days of questioning over his handling of the pandemic on Wednesday.

The highly anticipated appearance by Johnson is expected to see him admit that his government made mistakes in its response to the virus, but argue that its decisions ultimately saved lives.

He will also, according to reports, insist that he followed the advice of scientists and did not lock down the country more quickly because herd immunity was initially favoured.

The National: A van outside the UK Covid Inquiry where Boris Johnson is due to give evidence/ Image: PA

One user on Twitter suggest the ex-PM had arrived early in a bid to “avoid bereaved families and press”.

Meanwhile, policing minister Chris Philp said: “it’s the first time Boris has ever been early for anything”.

He told Sky News the inquiry should be about “dispassionately and forensically understanding what lessons can be learnt” but that he was “sure there are things we could have done better”.

A number of witnesses at the Inquiry have already made reference to Johnson on a number of occasions. 

Former senior adviser Dominic Cummings claimed Johnson asked scientists whether Covid could be destroyed by blowing a "special hairdryer" up people's noses. 

He also alleged Johnson said he would rather "let the bodies pile high" than hit the economy with further restrictions - a claim supported by former senior aide Lord Udny-Lister, but which Johnson has previously denied. 

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Meanwhile, extracts from the diaries of former chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance suggested Johnson and his inner circle were "basically feral" in messages shown to the inquiry.

Other key figures have defended aspects of the former Prime Minister’s record, including Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove (below).

The National: Michael Gove apologised to Covid victims and their families as he gave evidence to the UK Covid

In an extract of his written statement published in January, the former prime minister said it was his “duty” to weigh up whether lockdown had done more harm than good.

He said there were “simply no good choices” available to government at the time, but that he “always attached the highest priority to human life and public health”.