AN inquiry will be launched into the government's response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Prime Minister has revealed.

Talking to the Commons Liaison Committee last week, Boris Johnson said an inquiry would "look at everything that has gone wrong and gone right".

But he said it would not be a “good use of official time at the moment”, and declined to indicate when the inquiry could begin.

Boris Johnson told the Liaison Committee that the “single most important fact” in determining the state of coronavirus in the UK is the R value.

The Prime Minister said: “At the moment, alas, the R – having been under one for so many months after the fantastic efforts of the British people – the R is above one.

“That’s the most important thing we have to look at.”

The R number indicates the number of people that an infected person will pass the virus on to. A value above one suggests the virus is spreading exponentially.

A second national lockdown would be likely to have “disastrous” financial consequences for the UK, Boris Johnson added.

He was asked by Conservative MP and chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, Julian Knight, whether the country could afford another national lockdown.

Mr Johnson replied: “I don’t want a second national lockdown – I think it would be completely wrong for this country and we are going to do everything in our power to prevent it.

“And can we afford it? I very much doubt that the financial consequences would be anything but disastrous, but we have to make sure that we defeat the disease by the means that we have set out.

“So when I see people arguing against the rule of six or saying that the Government is coming in too hard on individual liberties and so on – I totally understand that and I sympathise with that, but we must, must defeat this disease.”