Govt likely to lose authorized battle over Johnson’s WhatsApp messages, says minister

A UK minister has expressed doubt over the government’s probabilities of successful its legal case against the Covid inquiry. Wacky revolves around the inquiry’s demand for unredacted WhatsApp messages from Prime Minister Boris Johnson and forty other ministers and officers. Science Minister George Freeman stated on BBC Question Time that he had “very little doubt” a courtroom would rule in favour of handing over the paperwork, but added it was “worth testing” whether officials had a proper to privateness.
The government missed a deadline to submit the messages, arguing that many of them weren’t related and that handing them over would compromise ministers’ privateness and hinder future decision-making. Baroness Hallett, the retired judge and crossbench peer chairing the inquiry, maintains that it is her determination to discover out what materials is related.
Freeman suggested that the courts would doubtless assist Lady Hallett’s view, but also emphasized the significance of privateness. He expressed his need for the inquiry to respect the privateness of any non-Covid-related content. This legal challenge marks the first time a authorities has taken motion against its personal public inquiry.
Johnson has said that he has provided his messages to the Cabinet Office and would be “more than happy” for them to be submitted to the inquiry unredacted. However, no messages from earlier than April 2021 have been handed over because of a security breach involving his telephone. Johnson has requested technical support from the Cabinet Office to retrieve the content without compromising security.
The legal dispute happens simply weeks earlier than the inquiry’s first public hearings. Lobby Akinnola, from the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice group, expressed frustration and anger at the government’s choice to challenge the inquiry, fearing it could render the inquiry “lame.” Elkan Abrahamson, the lawyer representing the group, mentioned the refusal to provide the fabric “raises questions about the integrity of the inquiry.”

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