BORIS Johnson has finished giving evidence on day one of his two-day hearing at the UK’s Covid-19 inquiry.

The appearance of the former prime minister who oversaw the UK’s pandemic response has been eagerly awaited, and Johnson was questioned for hours on the decisions he made at the time.

A lot has happened so far, and here are our key points from the day:

Boris Johnson’s apology backfires with protesters

In opening remarks to the inquiry, Johnson said he was sorry for the loss and the pain suffered by Covid victims but four people were removed from the hearing room after they held up signs reading: “The Dead can’t hear your apologies.”

The National:

Then, his claim that his Government saved thousands of lives during the pandemic was called a “gross distortion of the truth” by Aamer Anwar, lead solicitor for the Scottish Covid Bereaved group.

He told a press conference in west London that Johnson presided over a “total disgusting orgy of narcissism”.

Johnson quickly took aim at the Scottish Government

Asked what mistakes he made during the pandemic, the former prime minister looked 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.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson takes aim at Scottish Government at UK Covid-19 Inquiry

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”.

Johnson reluctant to hold ‘mini EU’ meetings with first ministers

The former prime minister was reluctant to meet the leaders of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland during the pandemic because he thought it would be like a “mini EU”.

He claimed it was “optically wrong” for him to be meeting the leaders of the devolved administrations (DAs) regularly.

But he admitted that with hindsight he should have done more to try to achieve a unified UK-wide response during the pandemic.

PM only read Sage minutes ‘once or twice’

Johnson said he may have only read the minutes of hundreds of meetings held by the committee of scientists advising the government on Covid “once or twice”. He said he was provided with “summaries” but in hindsight hearing the full discussion might have been valuable.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), a committee of scientists responsible for advising ministers on Covid, met hundreds of times.

He added that “in retrospect it may have been valuable to hear the Sage conversation unpasteurised itself, but I was more than content with the very clear summaries that I was getting from the CSA and the CMO”.

Johnson downplays claims of toxic culture

Johnson said that his administration had a lot of “challenging and competing characters” but it got “an awful lot done”, as he faced questions about a toxic atmosphere inside Downing Street.

The former prime minister said that he regretted not having more women in top positions and it was something that “should have done better”.

He told inquiry lead counsel Hugo Keith KC he would make a “distinction between the type of language used and the decision making processes of the government and what we got done”.