LONDON (Reuters) – Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has handed over pandemic-era notebooks and messages to the government and urged officials to It was referred to an independent COVID-19 investigation, his spokesman said on Wednesday. whether it should turn over material it deems irrelevant to the investigation.
“All Boris Johnson material – including WhatsApps and notebooks – has been submitted to the Cabinet Office in full and unredacted as required by the COVID Inquiry,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
“Mr Johnson urges Cabinet Office to urgently disclose to investigative services.”
Johnson’s government in
With a national election due next year, the scrutiny of decision-making could be politically unsettling for both Johnson and current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who is finance minister during the pandemic.
The inquiry will cover the government’s management of the pandemic, particularly in the UK, which was slower than the early multi-country European response to the pandemic.
The inquiry, chaired by former judge Heather Hallett, gave the government until Thursday afternoon to turn over Johnson’s WhatsApp messages and diaries.
The Cabinet Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In a statement issued on Tuesday, it said:
“We firmly believe that the investigation has no right to request information that is clearly irrelevant beyond the scope of this investigation.”
“This includes WhatsApp messages from government employees that are not work related but are completely personal and related to their private lives.”
Johnson in He has been heavily criticized for his conduct during the COVID-19 pandemic and fined by police for breaking lockdown rules, and he said he would cooperate fully with the investigation.
“While Mr Johnson understands the government’s position and does not attempt to refute it, he is very pleased that the inquiry will be able to obtain this material in whatever form it requires,” the spokesman said.