Technical experts have recovered all relevant messages from Boris Johnson’s old mobile phone so they can be handed over to the Covid-19 inquiry, a spokesman for the former PM has said.
Mr Johnson was advised not to use the device for security reasons and he then reportedly forgot his passcode – hampering the recovery of the important WhatsApp conversations.
He has been asked to share conversations from around the time decisions were being made about lockdown and other responses to the coronavirus.
Mr Johnson said he was glad the inquiry had not acted on all his messages – but Rishi Sunak’s government has said it wants to withhold some content from the inquiry as it is ‘clearly irrelevant’.
As a result, Mr Johnson said he would bypass the Cabinet Office process and deliver the messages to the inquiry himself.
The head of the inquiry, Baroness Hallett, says it’s her job to decide which news stories are irrelevant and which ones aren’t.
A spokesman for Boris Johnson said: “Boris Johnson is pleased that the technical experts have now managed to recover all relevant messages from the device. As has been stated on several occasions, he will now submit this material to the investigation in an unreacted form.”
“The investigative process requires that a security review of this material now be conducted by the Cabinet Office. The timing of any further progress submitted to the inquiry is therefore under the control of the Cabinet Office.”
“It has always been the case that Boris Johnson passed this material on to the inquiry and did everything possible to help with its recovery. A meticulous, investigation-approved process was followed to ensure this was successful.”
There is more to come…