Humza Yousaf’s government has agreed to hand over 14,000 WhatsApp messages to the UK Covid Inquiry after accusations of a cover up.The unredacted messages will be delivered within a week after the Government received a legal order.
Deputy First Minister Shona Robison also apologised to bereaved families for any “distress” caused”. Lawyer Aamer Anwar, who is representing bereaved families during the probe, said:“There can be no further cause for confusion or lack of clarity.
If trust with the bereaved is to be rebuilt, then many questions must still be answered.“No individual, institution, or government, whether in the UK or Scotland can be allowed to obstruct the search for truth.”Yousaf has been under huge pressure over the deletion of WhatsApp messages sent by colleagues during the pandemic when Nicola Sturgeon was in post.An Inquiry KC said last week there were 137 WhatsApp groups connected to the Scottish Government's pandemic response, but "no messages" had been handed over.Sturgeon and national clinical director Jason Leitch are among the dozens of figures who are believed to have deleted digital messages.In a statement to MSPs, new DFM Shona Robison said the Government had requested a legal order from the Inquiry in order to hand over material.She said: “In addition to the hundreds of messages already handed over to the UK Inquiry, this notice will allow us to share over fourteen thousand (14,000), mainly WhatsApp, messages from various groups and individuals over the period of the pandemic, mostly concerning routine coordination of work and meetings by officials. “I can confirm that messages from Ministers and former Ministers are included."She said of deleted messages: “In instances where it appears as though