Sunday, 14 Jul 2024

Boris hands in WhatsApps and notebooks to Cabinet Office as he makes demand

Boris Johnson denies rule breaking at Chequers

Boris Johnson has handed all of his WhatsApps and notebooks to the Cabinet Office, urging them to “disclose it to the Inquiry”.

His spokesperson said: “All Boris Johnson’s material – including WhatsApps and notebooks – requested by the Covid Inquiry has been handed to the Cabinet Office in full and in unredacted form.

“Mr Johnson urges the Cabinet Office to urgently disclose it to the Inquiry.

“The Cabinet Office has had access to this material for several months.

“Mr Johnson would immediately disclose it directly to the Inquiry if asked.

“While Mr Johnson understands the government’s position, and does not seek to contradict it, he is perfectly happy for the Inquiry to have access to this material in whatever form it requires.

“Mr Johnson cooperated with the Inquiry in full from the beginning of this process and continues to do so.

“Indeed, he established the Inquiry. He looks forward to continuing to assist the Inquiry with its important work.”

A Conservative insider said the Cabinet Office is “totally snookered”.

They added: “Boris seems happy to give anything to the inquiry.

“What is the cabinet office trying to hide? It certainly isn’t Boris’s WhatsApps.”

The Cabinet Office was holding firms against requests from the Covid Inquiry, which was demanding it hand over Boris Johnson’s WhatsApp messages.

It refused to hand over the messages on the grounds it would be a “serious intrusion of privacy”, warning that the release of details that are “unambiguously irrelevant” could set a harmful precedent.

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A Government source said it remained “confident” in its approach and has been “engaging closely with the inquiry” so far, handing over huge amounts of information.

Inquiry chairwoman Lady Hallett is demanding access to exchanges sent between January 2020 and February 2022.

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