Ministers are preparing for a high-profile legal battle with the Covid-19 inquiry as the Government seeks to challenge the request for Boris Johnson’s unredacted WhatsApp messages and notebooks.

Bereaved families and opposition parties hit out at the Government after the Cabinet Office took the highly unusual step of seeking a judicial review of inquiry chairwoman Baroness Hallett’s order to release the documents, arguing that it should not have to hand over material which is “unambiguously irrelevant”.

It comes as Mr Johnson, in his own letter to the inquiry on Thursday evening, said he was he was “more than happy” to hand over the requested material directly.

The step to launch legal proceedings came after days of public wrangling between ministers and the inquiry, as the Government faced a 4pm deadline on Thursday to hand over the material.

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By admin