BORIS Johnson has agreed to share the unredacted WhatsApp messages he provided to the Cabinet Office – as well as material from his old mobile phone – with the Covid inquiry despite the UK Government appealing for a judicial review to withhold the content.

In a letter to inquiry chairwoman Baroness Hallett, he wrote: “I am sending your inquiry all unredacted WhatsApps I provided to the Cabinet Office.

“I would like to do the same with any material that may be on an old phone which I have been previously been told I can no longer access safely.

“In view of the urgency of your request I believe we need to test this advice, which came from the security services.

“I have asked the Cabinet Office for assistance in turning it on securely so that I can search it for all relevant material.

“I propose to pass all such material directly to you.”

He also said he would ask for all of his unredacted notebooks back from the Cabinet Office in order to share them with the inquiry.

“I no longer have physical access to my notebooks because they were removed from my office by the Cabinet Office,” he added.

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“I have asked that the Cabinet Office pass these to you.

“If the Government chooses not to do so, I will ask for these to be returned to my office so that I can provide them to you directly.”

It comes despite ministers preparing for a high-profile legal battle to withhold the content, which they say is “unambiguously irrelevant” to the scope of the inquiry.