Boris Johnson to send all his unredacted WhatsApp messages to Covid inquiry in swipe at Rishi

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 02: Former UK prime minister Boris Johnson addresses the Global Soft Power Summit at The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre on March 2, 2023 in London, England. The conference explores the role of soft power in international politics and business. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

BORIS Johnson today vowed to bypass the Cabinet Office and send all his unredacted WhatsApps directly to the Covid inquiry.

In a bombshell letter to inquiry chief Lady Hallet, the ex-PM insisted he’s “not willing to let my material become a test case for others”.

Boris Johnson this morning vowed to send all his pandemic WhatsApps to the Covid inquiry

The ex-PM wrote to Lady Hallet, the Covid inquiry chief, this morning

Yesterday the Cabinet Office decided to take the inquiry to court following weeks of wrangling over whether thousands of Boris’ unredacted texts and a handful of diaries should be handed over.

The Government said it was not fair to include “references to personal and family information” from ministers and officials, including “illness and disciplinary matters”.

In a fiery letter to Lady Hallet, Cabinet Office lawyer Parm Sahota said: “The Cabinet Office has today sought leave to bring a judicial review.

“We do so with regret and with an assurance that we will continue to cooperate fully with the inquiry before, during and after the jurisdictional issue in question.”

The letter argued there are “important issues of principle at stake” and these affect the “rights of individuals and the proper conduct of government”.

The outcome of the judicial review is expected to set a precedent for future similar cases.

Today Boris threw a Covid grenade at Rishi Sunak by pledging to send the texts himself – including those from an old phone he’d previously been told could not be accessed safely.

The ex-PM said: “You have quite properly decided to leave no stone unturned in your search for the truth about government decision making during the pandemic.

“The government yesterday decided to take legal action. It was not my decision to do so. While I understand the government’s position, I am not willing to let my material become a test case for others when I am perfectly content for the inquiry to see it.”

“I am therefore providing the material directly to your inquiry today in unredacted form.”

Last night Science Minister George Freeman admitted the government is likely to LOSE its legal case against the Covid inquiry.

He said he has “very little doubt” a court would find in favour of Lady Hallet.

But the minister added it was “worth testing” if officials had a right to privacy.

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