He insists the UK pandemic inquiry can see all of Johnson's messages

He insists the UK pandemic inquiry can see all of Johnson's messages

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The head of the independent public inquiry into Britain's handling of the coronavirus pandemic has insisted that she should be given all of then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson's WhatsApp messages and written notes, without redacted passages.

During a preliminary hearing on Tuesday ahead of the start of taking evidence as part of the inquiry next week, Baroness Hallett said it was up to her to decide what elements of the messages were "relevant or potentially relevant" to the inquiry.

In doing so he commented on the Cabinet Office's decision on behalf of the government to ignore last week's deadline for the delivery of the messages and notes.

Instead, the Cabinet Office said it would legally challenge Lady Hallett's claim, saying many passages were irrelevant to the inquiry and their release would undermine free communication between government officials.

That government appeal is expected to be heard at the end of the month, with the head of the inquiry saying she cannot comment further while the case is pending.

However, Boris Johnson decided to bypass the Cabinet Office by sending directly to the inquiry's legal team all the messages in his possession from that period.

According to the former Prime Minister, however, the messages before May 2021 which also refer to the critical period of the lockdowns, are contained in a device that is locked for security reasons. He has said that he has requested technical assistance from the government on this matter.

The inquiry's chief legal officer Hugo Keith told Baroness Hallett that the messages received from Boris Johnson will be compared this week with the limited extracts provided by the Cabinet Office.

The government's reluctance to comply with Baroness Hallett's request has sparked a backlash from relatives of the victims of the pandemic.

It is noted that until last week in the United Kingdom, the death certificate of citizens listed her COVID-19 as the main or contributing cause of death in 226.989 cases.

Source: KYPE