Nicola Sturgeon deleted all pandemic WhatsApps messages

20/01/2024 | The Guardian

At a UK Covid Inquiry hearing in Scotland, former first minister Nicola Sturgeon and other senior ministers and health officials were accused of deleting all their WhatsApp messages related to the Covid pandemic. Sturgeon had previously refused to confirm or deny allegations of deleting messages but insisted on being transparent about her conduct during the pandemic. This is the first official confirmation that Sturgeon did not keep any of her pandemic messages, contradicting her previous commitment to disclose her private messages in evidence. The deletion of messages has been called a "cynical and pre-meditated decision" by the lawyer representing Covid bereaved families in Scotland.

In a response on Saturday, Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that the Covid inquiry does have Sturgeon messages. Sturgeon said: "Contrary to the impression given in some coverage, the inquiry does have messages between me and those I most regularly communicated with through informal means... Although these had not been retained on my own device, I was able to obtain copies which I submitted to the inquiry last year."

Then, on Monday, the Independent revealed that Scotland's Information Commissioner, David Hamilton, has expressed concern over the revelation, stating that it may have implications for freedom of information. Hamilton added that he needs to determine if he has the necessary authority to pursue an investigation into the matter before taking any further action. 

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Nicola Sturgeon

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