Boris Johnson Bypasses Government to Hand Over Unredacted WhatsApp Messages

WhatsApp Messages
Boris Johnson WhatsApp Messages

From Lockdowns to Cover-ups: what’s really behind Johnson’s WhatsApp Messages

In the realm of political power plays and hidden agendas, there’s a high-stakes battle over Boris Johnson’s unredacted WhatsApp messages. As the government resists releasing the messages to the Covid inquiry, questions arise: Whose interests are they truly protecting?

Rishi Sunak’s government is trying to block inquiry chairwoman Baroness Hallett’s order to release WhatsApp messages and diaries, arguing that it should not have to hand over material which is “unambiguously irrelevant”.

However, a defiant Johnson has said: “I am perfectly content for the inquiry to see it.”

Johnson’s eagerness to bypass the government and provide the unredacted messages directly to Baroness Hallett, head of the inquiry, raises suspicions. Is there something more significant at stake than mere privacy concerns? The Cabinet Office’s legal challenge to the inquiry’s demand for texts from Johnson and officials adds fuel to the fire.

Now Boris Johnson has stated he will bypass the government and provide unredacted WhatsApps to the Covid-19 inquiry directly, he said in a letter to the chair on Friday.

“The government yesterday decided to take legal action. It was not my decision to do so,” wrote Johnson. “While I understand the government’s position, I am not willing to let my material become a test case for others when I am perfectly content for the inquiry to see it.”

Questions had previously been raised over an old phone Johnson abandoned amid security concerns in the middle of the pandemic.

In the letter addressed to Heather Hallett, Johnson said he would also like to share “any material” on his old phone. Johnson said he was previously told he could no longer access the device safely.

“In view of the urgency of your request I believe we need to test this advice, which came from the security services,” the letter said.

Cybersecurity expert Professor Alan Woodward assures that the risk of turning on Johnson’s old phone is minimal, dismissing potential threats.

Johnson said he no longer has physical access to his notebooks which were removed from his office by the Cabinet Office, and said he has requested for them to be shared with the inquiry directly.

The tug-of-war between Johnson, the Cabinet Office, and Baroness Hallett intensifies. While Johnson claims he is willing to release the messages he had already sent to the Cabinet Office, he faces obstacles in accessing older messages due to security concerns surrounding his old phone. However, cyber security experts argue that the risk is minimal, leaving us wondering about the true reasons behind the difficulties faced in retrieving these crucial communications.

The Cabinet Office’s defence rests on the argument that many of the messages are irrelevant to the inquiry. Yet, Baroness Hallett remains firm in her role to decide what is truly pertinent. As the government’s missed deadline and subsequent legal action unfold, public trust in the inquiry’s ability to uncover the truth diminishes.

Amidst the legal battles and political manoeuvring, the voices of dissent grow louder. Labour’s deputy leader, Angela Rayner, denounces the government’s actions as a desperate attempt to withhold evidence, while the Liberal Democrats decry it as a betrayal to bereaved families seeking answers. Former Prime Minister Theresa May’s chief of staff, Lord Gavin Barwell, expresses concern that the government’s control over the inquiry’s access to information undermines the quest for truth.

As the drama unfolds, one question looms large: Who exactly is the government trying to protect by withholding these WhatsApp messages and diaries? The answer may lie in the shadows, concealed within the intricate web of political power and hidden agendas. One thing is for sure, this particular ball of string doesn’t end with Boris Johnson.

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