Boris Johnson WhatsApp: ex-PM still hasn't handed over messages from Covid lockdown ahead of inquiry appearance

Boris Johnson is due to give evidence at the Covid Inquiry but he still hasn't handed over vital WhatsApp messages between ministers from February to June 2020
Boris Johnson still hasn't handed over WhatsApp messages from the first lockdown to the Covid Inquiry ahead of his appearance today - but he insisted he did not delete them. (Credit: Getty Images)Boris Johnson still hasn't handed over WhatsApp messages from the first lockdown to the Covid Inquiry ahead of his appearance today - but he insisted he did not delete them. (Credit: Getty Images)
Boris Johnson still hasn't handed over WhatsApp messages from the first lockdown to the Covid Inquiry ahead of his appearance today - but he insisted he did not delete them. (Credit: Getty Images)

Boris Johnson has denied deleting WhatsApp messages from the beginning of the Covid lockdown after it emerged that the evidence still hasn't been handed over to the Covid Inquiry.

The former Prime Minister, who was in power at the time the lockdown was introduced in March 2020, has not been able to provide the inquiry with any forms of communication between February and June 2020. According to The Times, "technical issues" have led to Johnson being unable to retrieve the messages for the inquiry panel, led by Lady Hallet.

A spokesman for the former prime minister said: “Boris Johnson has fully cooperated with the Inquiry’s disclosure process and has submitted hundreds of pages of material. He has not deleted any messages. The Times report refers to a technical issue in recovery of material that is for the technical team to address.”

Johnson was told to stop using the mobile phone device amid security concerns after it was revealed that the number has been online for years. He then claimed that he forgot the passcode for the device, before technical experts reportedly helped him to gain access once again.

He is giving evidence to the Covid Inquiry today (Tuesday 6 December). The missing messages are believed to contain communication between himself and others about the introduction of the lockdown, with the inquiry reviewing the decisions taken by the government over the course of the pandemic.

It comes as two high-profile figures from the beginning of the lockdown, former Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Johnson's ex-chief adviser Dominic Cummings, already gave evidence to the inquiry. Cummings previously claimed that the ex-PM allegedly said that he would rather "let the bodies pile high" than hit the economy with more restrictions, an allegation Johnson denies.

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