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    Covid Inquiry refuses to say if Cabinet met deadline on WhatsApps

    The cabinet complained that they were asked to provide 'definitely irrelevant' Material as it seeks judicial review of the request for Boris Johnson's unredacted messages as well as his notebooks. Credit: WPA Pool/Getty Images Europe

    The Covid investigation is blocked in a transparency dispute with the government after refusing to say whether the Cabinet Office met the disclosure deadline.

    Baroness Hallett, head of the investigation, ordered the cabinet ministers to report to her by the end of the week to reiterate their position on the transfer of Boris Johnson notes and WhatsApp materials.

    However, last night the investigation refused to say whether he received the required assurances.

    At a preliminary hearing this week, the Cabinet admitted that it did not know what its own position was on the disclosure of government communications in the investigation, and lawyers said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also failed to comply with his demands.

    The Cabinet Office, which is sponsoring the investigation, complained about being asked to provide “definitely irrelevant” material as it seeks judicial review of a request for Mr Johnson's unredacted communications with ministers and advisers, as well as his notebooks.

    Hugo Keith QC, Investigative Counsel, said that in a few days the team would take the notebooks directly from Mr. Johnson and compare them with the edited Cabinet versions they already have.

    The dispute arises as the investigation progresses. prepares to hear its first evidence next week, two years after it was first announced.

    Covid investigation to examine DNR

    It was revealed yesterday that one of the six modules of the investigation will be considering conflicting “Do not resuscitate” orders after several families of the victims reported their experiences to the inquest.

    Mr. Keith said at the preliminary hearing: “My lady, the evidence for single deaths, as gruesome, compelling and gruesome as it may be, simply cannot by itself demonstrate to yourself whether there were systemic failures, as opposed to the fact that this particular death could not be prevented.

    “And you made it clear that you do not need to convince the family members of the victims may well have the appropriate evidence to give systemic weaknesses in certain areas – such as the widespread use of “Do Not Resuscitate” notifications.

    “But if so, then this proof can be used in later modules where these questions are considered.”

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