Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Daily Record
Daily Record
Andrew Quinn

Scottish Covid Bereaved group calls for Boris Johnson WhatsApps to be released

Friends and families of Scots who died from Covid have said the Cabinet Office should release unredacted WhatsApp messages and diaries belonging to Boris Johnson.

The Cabinet Office has been threatened with legal action after it attempted to resist a request from the official UK Covid-19 Inquiry to see specific materials.

These included unredacted WhatsApp messages and diaries belonging to the former prime minister between January 2020 and February 2022.

The Cabinet Office sought to resist the request in May, which was made under section 21 of the Inquiries Act 2005 and which also applies to messages from former adviser Henry Cook.

But inquiry chairwoman Lady Hallett rejected the argument that the inquiry’s request was unlawful and claimed that the Cabinet Office had “misunderstood the breadth of the investigation”.

The Scottish Covid Bereaved group have said they support Hallett's move and even warned the Cabinet Office could face "criminal sanctions".

The group's lawyer, Aamer Anwar, said in a statement: "The Scottish Covid Bereaved find it distressing and shameful that Boris Johnson, blamed by many for the needless loss of lives and the ‘carousel of pandemic chaos’ is once more being referred to the police for investigation.

"Whilst some politicians now accuse lawyers at Cabinet Office of being ‘politically motivated’, this must not be allowed under any circumstances to distract from Boris Johnson’s key role in the handling of the Pandemic."

The statement continued: "The families we represent welcome the unprecedented and robust response of the Chair to Cabinet Office and their failure of Cabinet Office to disclose all the material requested.

"The Government should be answerable to the people, there must be no hiding place for those involved in decision making. No individual, no matter how powerful can be allowed to interfere with the pursuit of truth, justice, and accountability by this Inquiry, those who lost their lives to Covid-19 deserve nothing less.

"As the Chair of the Scottish Covid Bereaved Dr Alan Wightman said, Lady Hallett has honoured the promise she made to their group when they met with her in March 2022, in that her inquiry would identify gaps in evidence and demand that they be filled and will dealing with any attempt by Government Departments, Ministers or Civil Servants who may attempt to obfuscate or to delay disclosure. The families applaud her actions so far."

More than 10,000 Scots have died from Covid. Scottish Covid Bereaved criticised the government's approach to the pandemic, claiming that it caused more deaths.

To sign up to the Daily Record Politics newsletter, click here .


Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.