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HomePoliticsMinister confesses government may lose legal battle on Covid inquiry- Political updates.

Minister confesses government may lose legal battle on Covid inquiry- Political updates.


A minister has suggested that the government is “likely” to lose its legal challenge to the official Covid inquiry over the disclosure of Boris Johnson’s unredacted WhatsApp messages and diaries.

George Freeman, the Science Secretary, said he believed it is “quite likely that the courts will decide that Baroness Hallett (the chair of the Covid inquiry) will decide what evidence” she wants and is allowed to see.

He told the BBC’s Question Time programme: “Ultimately this is a court decision, it will be made by the courts and I happen to think that the courts are likely to consider that Baroness Hallett, who is leading the inquiry, is fully entitled and authorized to decide what evidence she wants.

The government is seeking a judicial review of the inquiry’s request for the cabinet to hand over unredacted messages and diaries.

The Cabinet Office has argued that it should not hand over material that is “equivocally irrelevant”.

Mr Johnson said in his own letter to the inquiry yesterday that he was “more than happy” to hand over the requested material directly.

The judicial review is seen in Whitehall as an important test case that will set the precedent for future disclosure of evidence for the inquiry involving other ministers and officials.

The legal challenge led to accusations of wasting time from critics over fears that battles in the courts would delay the investigation’s work.

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(TagsToTranslate)Rishi Sunak

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