Daily Record

Following in London footsteps


BORIS Johnson has faced a long-running battle over whether his full unredacted WhatsApp messages and diaries should be handed to the UK Covid Inquiry. The UK Government rejected the demand and said it would only share messages relevant to the coronaviru­s response. But that argument was shot down by Baroness Hallett, the inquiry chair, who said it was up to her to decide what was relevant. The UK Government then took the unpreceden­ted step of bringing a judicial review of Hallett’s order. It was the first time a government had mounted a legal challenge to an inquiry it set up itself. The messages were finally handed to the inquiry by August. The UK Government previously said the “irrelevant” WhatsApps it held included messages about disciplina­ry matters, family informatio­n, and “comments of a personal nature” about individual­s. Hallett also revealed the Government had redacted WhatsApps about “relations between the UK and Scottish government­s”. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak earlier this month failed to hand over his WhatsApp messages from his time as chancellor to the Covid inquiry. In his witness statement to the public inquiry, Sunak claimed that he did “not have access” to the messages during the period running the Treasury because he had changed his phone several times and failed to back them up. The inquiry had requested key communicat­ions sent during the pandemic, from the end of January 2020 to the end of February 2022. Sunak’s messages could include details of crucial pandemic decisions made by the Treasury including the furlough scheme.

 ?? ?? BATTLE Boris Johnson
BATTLE Boris Johnson

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