analysis

Boris Johnson and the mystery phone that could unlock the secrets of Britain’s Covid response

The Covid inquiry is hoping to discover crucial conversations from the height of the crisis once the former PM’s device is finally handed over, writes political correspondent Adam Forrest

Sunday 16 July 2023 12:49 BST
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<p>Boris Johnson missed the deadline to hand over the messages earlier this week because he had forgotten his passcode</p>

Boris Johnson missed the deadline to hand over the messages earlier this week because he had forgotten his passcode

Boris Johnson’s mystery phone has been the subject of a frenzied battle for control at the highest levels of power, with competing claims about who should have access, how the device should be switched on, and what might actually be on it.

The old iPhone – known as “Phone 1” in Whitehall – has been at the centre of a major row between the former PM, Rishi Sunak’s government, and the Covid public inquiry looking at how Britain handled the pandemic.

In a farcical turn of events, the final deadline for Mr Johnson’s material to be handed over was missed earlier this week because the former Tory leader had forgotten his passcode.

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