Yousaf Forced To Accept “Shortcomings” on Covid WhatsApp Deletions

Humza Yousaf’s WhatsApp woes continue today as he’s forced to apologise for the SNP’s “shortcomings” on WhatsApp messages. The SNP have been accused of deleting them on an “industrial scale” and Yousaf now admits when the Covid Inquiry asked for messages last year they should have been sent over instead of deleted. Devolved leaders have a habit of appearing trigger-happy when it comes to deleting messages…

Yousaf’s previous strategy was to claim messages had only been requested in September this year, when in fact they were asked for in 2022. He’s now been forced to admit “the Scottish Government clearly interpreted the requests from the Inquiry in a way that was too narrow”. The UK Covid Inquiry has gone so far as to order the Scottish government to publish a timeline of their requests for messages. So it’s clear who’s been telling porkies…

mdi-timer 9 November 2023 @ 15:25 9 Nov 2023 @ 15:25 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Cabinet Office Loses Legal Fight to Withhold Boris’s WhatsApps from Covid Inquiry

The Cabinet Office has lost its legal battle to withhold Boris’s unredacted WhatsApp messages and diaries from the Covid inquiry. In a judgement today, the High Court ruled the materials must now be handed over to inquiry chair Heather Hallett, as there were no “reasonable” reasons not to do so. Another blow for Rishi…

The Cabinet Office has responded:

“The Inquiry is an important step to learn lessons from the pandemic and the Government is cooperating in the spirit of candour and transparency.

As this judgment acknowledges, our judicial review application was valid as it raised issues over the application of the Inquiries Act 2005 that have now been clarified. The Court’s judgment is a sensible resolution and will mean that the Inquiry Chair is able to see the information she may deem relevant, but we can work together to have an arrangement that respects the privacy of individuals and ensures completely irrelevant information is returned and not retained.

We will comply fully with this judgment and will now work with the Inquiry team on the practical arrangements.”

Time to hand ’em over…

Read the full judgement below:

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mdi-timer 6 July 2023 @ 14:37 6 Jul 2023 @ 14:37 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Jolyon Loses Again, Ordered to Pay Government’s Legal Costs

Good Monday morning. Jolyon has lost again. The latest defeat took place in the Supreme Court, where Jolyon and the Good Law Project were trying to overturn their two previous losses over government use of WhatsApp and private email servers. Their attempt to take the case to the Supreme Court was dismissed “because the application does not raise an arguable point of law”.

Jolyon’s bad news gets even worse: the Good Law Project have also been ordered to pay the government’s costs for the application. At least he managed to raise over £180,000 from his loyal supporters for this case alone – although that was £20,000 less than he’d hoped. 

For all Jolyon’s talk of “transparency”, at time of going to pixel, this latest defeat is nowhere to be seen on the “news” section of the Good Law Project’s website. It’s not as if they just haven’t had the time: they lost on 13th April, yet still blogged about another case on the 14th. You’re either in front of Guido, or you are behind…

mdi-timer 17 April 2023 @ 10:11 17 Apr 2023 @ 10:11 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Steve Baker Disbands ERG Members’ WhatsApp Chat

Steve Baker has disbanded the ERG Members WhatsApp group chat this afternoon, booting out MPs one by one as the most “expedient” way to relinquish ownership of the group. Baker says reports he’d claimed “Brexit is done” are inaccurate – he’s just sunsetting the chat group he created. So long…

Baker tells Guido:

“It was expedient to give up ownership of the ERG Members’ WhatsApp group I created by removing everyone before deleting it. As I said to the group, I am sure the present officers will wish to recreate it.”

No word yet on whether the remaining members have resurrected the group elsewhere…

UPDATE: Guido hears a new, Baker-free chat has now been formed and members are being re-added. The ERG is dead, long live the ERG.

mdi-timer 24 March 2023 @ 14:40 24 Mar 2023 @ 14:40 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Coffey’s Bond Girl Group Chat

Away from the mini-Budget noise, Guido’s just got a hold of highly classified intelligence concerning the now-Deputy PM Thérèse Coffey. Back in 2016, while she was still a junior Defra Minister, Coffey created and ran a WhatsApp group chat containing all the then-Parliamentary Under Secretaries of State, most of whom were women. Now, For Your Eyes Only, a co-conspirator has shared the name she aptly gave that group… Pussy Galore.

* Yes, her name is Thérèse, not Theresa. Unfortunately Guido’s source can’t spell. The screenshots have been verified as authentic.

mdi-timer 23 September 2022 @ 17:20 23 Sep 2022 @ 17:20 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Online Safety Bill May Kill WhatsApp in UK

Bad news for just about everybody working in SW1: WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart has warned the app may be pulled from the UK entirely if the Online Safety Bill reaches the statute books. As if this bill needed any more reasons to be scrapped…

Speaking on the BBC’s Tech Tent podcast, Cathcart slammed the bill for an amendment which would force WhatsApp and other tech companies to make their “best endeavours” to use new technology to flag inappropriate and abusive content, essentially by snooping on users’ private conversations. As Cathcart puts it, “what’s being proposed is that […] we read everyone’s messages”.

Essentially, the bill would give Ofcom the power to compel companies to abandon end-to-end encryption. Like the Free Speech Union points out, this is like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut: when the UK’s own Information Commissioner’s Office is saying this sort of thing is a bad idea, maybe it needs rethinking. First the Bill gives Big Tech the power to censor online content, now it wants them to create back door keys to everyone’s private messages…

mdi-timer 8 August 2022 @ 15:13 8 Aug 2022 @ 15:13 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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