A public inquiry into Covid-19 is set to examine Boris Johnson’s WhatsApp messages during the fight against the pandemic.

In the course of the investigation, it was required to get acquainted with the communication of the former prime minister and other high-ranking officials related to “making key decisions”.

Hugo Inquiry barrister Keith Kay-See said thousands of documents had been requested to inform the inquiry and cited the Cabinet Office as an example.

“We sought agendas, minutes and other documents related to the main decision-making forum such as cabinet meetings, Cobra meetings and ministerial implementation teams,” he said.

“We have requested ministerial materials, documents from daily Number 10 briefings, records of written and verbal advice to ministers and details of internal communications, including a WhatsApp group that included the Prime Minister, Number 10 and other senior officials.”

On Monday morning, as he opened the second phase of the statutory inquiry, he said the effects of the pandemic would be felt “for decades”.

“The pandemic has led to financial and economic upheaval.

“It has disrupted economies and education systems and put unprecedented pressure on national health systems. Jobs and businesses were destroyed and livelihoods were taken away.

“The disease has caused widespread and prolonged physical and mental illness, grief and untold suffering,” he said.


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