Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that he is "deeply sorry" after the UK COVID-19 death toll surpasses 100,000, despite insisting that his government "did everything we could" to limit the deaths.

After missing several vital COBRA meetings following the outbreak of the deadly virus and being disastrously slow in reacting to the pandemic, Johnson was recently asked questions over how Britain reached one of the world's worst death rates, yet he refused to discuss the reasons why it might be so high.

"The years of life lost, the family gatherings not attended and, for so many relatives, the missed chance even to say goodbye, I offer my deepest condolences to everyone who has lost a loved one," he said in last night's press conference, when asked what had gone wrong with the UK response.

"I think, on this day, I should just really repeat that I am deeply sorry for every life that has been lost, and of course as I was Prime Minister, I take full responsibility for everything that the government has done. What I can tell you is that we truly did everything we could, and continue to do everything that we can, to minimise loss of life and to minimise suffering in what has been a very, very difficult stage, and a very, very difficult crisis for our country, and we will continue to do that."

The news follows former PM Gordon Brown saying that the UK's at risk of becoming a failed state, and that "a commission on democracy" is needed after the government's recent failings. Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today show on Monday, Brown labelled Johnson as being out of touch with the country: "I do think Boris Johnson has not quite understood how deep the resentment is, how the lack of trust is causing him a problem, a problem about his acceptability in different parts of the country."

He added: "You've got not only the Scottish first minister but you've got the regional mayors saying they are not consulted and listened to; you've got the Welsh first minister saying their letters are not even replied to by Boris Johnson; you've got no mechanism, no forum for coordinating the regions and nations, and I think that the public are fed up."

Professor Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England, described the grim milestone as "a very sad day" for Britain while admitting more deaths were soon to follow: "Unfortunately, we are going to see quite a lot more deaths over the next few weeks."