Boris Johnson's apology has been labelled as "worthless" by families in Northern Ireland who have lost loved ones to Covid-19.
The former prime minister was giving evidence to the UK Covid Inquiry on Wednesday.
After a false start when bereaved families sitting in the public gallery in London held up a sign saying "The Dead Won't Hear Your Apologies", Mr Johnson began proceedings by saying sorry.
He said: "I understand the feelings of these victims and their families and I am deeply sorry for the pain and the loss and the suffering of those victims and their families.
"I do hope that this inquiry will help to get the answers to the very difficult questions that those victims and those families are rightly asking."
Catriona Myles, whose dad died from Covid while waiting on cancer treatment, said Mr Johnson's apology was "worthless".
She said: "His oath is probably much the same. I mean, his truth and our truth are probably two very different things.
"If this situation wasn't as tragic, it's like a pantomime. The fact that we had someone who wasn't switched on enough to see a train hurtling towards the UK, when it was, and when the warning signals were flashing, it's just pathetic."
Brenda Doherty, NI Covid Bereaved Families for Justice, lost her mum to Covid in March 2020.
"At the very start of the pandemic, we accepted things had happened with mum and knowing now that things possibly could have been different and that was the attitude of the Prime Minister, it just adds another level of pain."
Bereaved families in Northern Ireland are unlikely to ever accept the decisions taken by Boris Johnson and his government at the time.
However, there is hope for the outcome of the inquiry and that actions will be taken to ensure the public is protected in the future.
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