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Covid inquiry demands diaries and texts in Boris Johnson parties row

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The Covid-19 inquiry is pressing the Cabinet Office to release WhatsApp messages and diary entries relating to the Downing Street parties scandal amid potential concerns over an "inadequate" response to the pandemic by ministers.

Baroness Hallett, the head of the inquiry, said that "superficially unrelated" matters such as the lockdown-breaking parties in No 10 may provide context for her investigations. She is threatening the government with criminal sanctions if it does not hand over the messages and 24 diaries from Boris Johnson's time in Downing Street by Tuesday.

• Could Boris Johnson go to prison over Covid inquiry WhatsApps?

The government is considering launching a legal challenge to block the release of thousands of unredacted messages from Johnson, Rishi Sunak and 40 other senior government

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