BORIS Johnson has taken aim at the Scottish Government in his appearance at the UK Covid-19 Inquiry. 

Asked what mistakes he made during the pandemic,  the former prime minister appeared to blame mixed messaging from other nations in the United Kingdom.

“We were relying so much on messaging to help contain the virus and we needed the public to understand the message in as straightforward a way as possible, and they really did, by and large,” he said.

But, because of the “very natural and proper right of the devolved administrations to have their own approach”, sometimes there would be “one message from Number 10, then a slightly different one from Scotland or wherever”.

“That, I think, we need to sort that out in future.”

Johnson was also told off by the chair of the inquiry less than a minute into Wednesday’s proceedings for leaking his evidence to the media.

READ MORE: Covid Inquiry: Boris Johnson arrives three hours early ahead of questioning

Covid Inquiry chairwoman Baroness Hallett complained about the briefings ahead of Johnson’s appearance, saying that leaks of the witness statement undermined the process.

His evidence was then interrupted as he began an apology for the “suffering” during the pandemic.

Lady Hallett ordered ushers to remove an individual from the hearing room.

The ex-PM is facing the first of two days of questioning over his handling of the pandemic when he appears before the UK Covid-19 Inquiry.

It comes after he denied deleting WhatsApp messages after it emerged he had not been able to provide the inquiry with any communications from February to June 2020.

READ MORE: LIVE: All the updates as Boris Johnson faces UK Covid-19 Inquiry

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.

Johnson 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.

His style of government at the height of the crisis has been criticised by former colleagues, while the atmosphere inside Downing Street has been described as “toxic”.

On Wednesday’s morning broadcast round, Home Office minister Chris Philp joked “it’s the first time Boris has ever been early for anything” after he arrived around three hours before the start of the hearing.

With Johnson likely to be grilled on the evidence of ex-colleagues, a report in The Times revealed that he has not been able to provide the inquiry with any communications spanning the early days of the pandemic and most of the first lockdown.

The paper reported that he told Baroness Hallet’s Inquiry that technical experts have not been able to retrieve WhatsApp messages from between January 31 and June 7 2020.

Technical experts had been trying to recover messages from his old mobile phone to hand them to the inquiry. Johnson (below) was originally told to stop using the device over security concerns after it emerged his number had been online for years.

The National: Former prime minister Boris Johnson (Victoria Jones/PA)

He then reportedly forgot the passcode, but it was believed that technical experts had succeeded in helping him recover messages for the inquiry.

A spokesman for the former prime minister said: “Boris Johnson has fully co-operated with the inquiry’s disclosure process and has submitted hundreds of pages of material.

“He has not deleted any messages.

“The Times report refers to a technical issue in recovery of material that is for the technical team to address.”