Boris Johnson has handed his unredacted WhatsApp messages and notebooks to the Cabinet Office, as the former prime minister called on the Government to “urgently disclose” the material to the Covid-19 inquiry.
The Cabinet Office had claimed it did not have access to Mr Johnson’s WhatsApp messages and private notebooks, which were demanded by inquiry chairwoman Baroness Hallett.
Ministers have so far objected to the release of “unambiguously irrelevant” material.
The inquiry has set a deadline of 4pm on Thursday to hand over Mr Johnson’s messages, notebooks and official diaries, having granted a 48-hour extension on Tuesday.
A spokesman for Mr Johnson said all the material requested by the Covid inquiry had been handed to the Cabinet Office and should be disclosed to Baroness Hallett.
“All Boris Johnson’s material – including WhatsApps and notebooks – requested by the Covid inquiry has been handed to the Cabinet Office in full and in unredacted form,” the spokesman said on Wednesday.
“Mr Johnson urges the Cabinet Office to urgently disclose it to the inquiry.
“The Cabinet Office has had access to this material for several months. Mr Johnson would immediately disclose it directly to the inquiry if asked.
“While Mr Johnson understands the Government’s position, and does not seek to contradict it, he is perfectly happy for the inquiry to have access to this material in whatever form it requires.
“Mr Johnson co-operated with the inquiry in full from the beginning of this process and continues to do so.
“Indeed, he established the inquiry. He looks forward to continuing to assist the inquiry with its important work.”