Grant Shapps Says Covid Inquiry Can Have All His WhatsApp Messages

Energy secretary says the inquiry can have "whatever they want" as he has "nothing to be shy" about.
James Manning - PA Images via Getty Images

Energy secretary Grant Shapps has said the Covid inquiry can have “whatever they want” from him.

It has added to pressure on the Cabinet Office to hand over Boris Johnson’s WhatsApps messages and diaries.

The inquiry, set up to examine the pandemic, has set the government a deadline of 4pm on Thursday to release the evidence.

Johnson said on Wednesday he had given the material to the government and urged officials to pass it on to the inquiry.

But the Cabinet Office has continued its objection to releasing everything it has been asked for, arguing it should not have to deliver “unambiguously irrelevant” material.

Speaking to TalkTV on Wednesday evening, Shapps said he was happy for the inquiry to have access to all his pandemic-era messages.

“I think its really straight forward. We have to let the inquiry get on with its job,” he said.

“There was no textbook for dealing with Covid. We were all trying to do our best under some extremely complex, difficult circumstances.

“There is nothing to be shy or embarrassed about,” he added. “There were things that were very good and things that would have gone wrong, naturally."

Asked if the inquiry could have his messages, Shapps said: “Whatever they want, yes.”

Shapps served as transport secretary during the pandemic and as such was heavily involved in decision making. He also was frequently the face of government at Covid press conferences.

The documents the inquiry has demanded include text conversations between Johnson and high-profile figures, including Rishi Sunak.

Whitehall officials hope that a compromise can be reached before the 4pm deadline to avoid the need for a damaging legal fight with the inquiry.


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