Boris Johnson releases WhatsApps and notebooks to the Cabinet Office. He has challenging it to release the documents in unredacted form to the Covid inquiry.
The inquiry has set a deadline of 4pm on Thursday to hand over Mr Johnson’s messages, notebooks and official diaries, having granted a 48-hour extension on Tuesday.
Boris Johnson releases WhatsApps
The former PMs statement said he was “perfectly happy for the inquiry to have access to this material in whatever form it requires”, adding he had cooperated “in full from the beginning of this process”.
The ex-PM’s spokesman contradicted Cabinet Office officials, saying they had had access to the messages and notebooks for several months.
Johnson would immediately disclose it directly to the inquiry if asked, the spokesman added.
Nothing to hide
Mel Stride, told Times Radio: “Certainly the government has absolutely nothing to hide. And in fact, over the last few months, we’ve released 55,000 different documents, I believe eight witness statements and corporate witness statements, to the inquiry.
“There is this issue over the request for various WhatsApps from various individuals, which is a matter for the individuals and also for the Cabinet Office … I wouldn’t want to be trying to sort of prejudge where all of that will land.
“But other than to say that the government totally gets the importance. And that’s why we set up this inquiry, of getting to the bottom of the important lessons there are to learn from what happened because of course, many of us were deeply, deeply affected by the pandemic and the lockdown and the response to it.”