Covid probe threatens legal action after Boris Johnson ‘pauses’ WhatsApp

The head of the Covid Public Inquiry has accused the Cabinet Office of withholding vital information on Boris Johnson’s handling of the Covid inquiry.

Lady Hallett said details recorded in the former PM’s diaries, WhatsApp messages and emails should not have been deleted before they were handed over.

The speaker has sought phone exchanges from Mr Johnson with his senior ministers, senior civil servants and their advisers during the pandemic.

Baroness Hallett rejected the arguments put forward by the Cabinet Office against releasing some of the discussions – warning of legal action against a government department.

It comes as Mr Johnson revealed he had severed ties with government-appointed lawyers representing him in the Covid investigation after being referred to the police over possible rule breaches.

In a letter to Baroness Hallett he said: “I am currently instructing new solicitors to represent me at the inquiry … As of today, I am unrepresented and my legal team have been instructed not to give me any advice”. Don’t give.”

The government was accused of withholding politically sensitive material. a source told I: “The Cabinet Office has claimed that there is nothing relevant in what they cut. They basically pulled things that are politically embarrassing.

The Covid inquiry chairman said some discussions had initially been restarted between Mr Johnson and his advisers about enforcement of the rules by the Metropolitan Police during protests following the killing of Sarah Everard.

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She said: “While those reforms have now (recently) been rolled out, it was not a promising start.”

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