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Johnson’s messages handed to Covid-19 inquiry after UK Government’s court defeat

10 Jul 2023 2 minute read
Boris Johnson. Photo Andrew Boyers PA Images

Boris Johnson’s notebooks, WhatsApp messages and diaries have been handed over to the UK Covid-19 Inquiry after the Government lost its bid to prevent their release.

The Cabinet Office had been given until 4pm to comply with a High Court ruling to hand over the unredacted documents.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “All requisite material has been handed over.”

The Government had fought the request from inquiry chairwoman Baroness Heather Hallett to release the documents, arguing it should not have to hand over material that is “unambiguously irrelevant”.

But the Cabinet Office’s argument was dismissed by Lord Justice Dingemans and Mr Justice Garnham last week, who said the fact an order for material would produce “some irrelevant documents” did not “invalidate” it or mean it “cannot be lawfully exercised”.

They said Lady Hallett should be able to examine the documents and if she agrees they are “obviously irrelevant” to her inquiry, she will return them.

One complication has been the WhatsApp messages on the former prime minister’s old phone.

He was advised to stop using it on security grounds in May 2021 after it emerged his number had been freely available online for 15 years.

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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 year ago

The juxtaposition of the two heading photographs can’t be accidental, pin a roundel on his chest and send Fat Shanks to Biwmares for the day…

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