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Case update 26 October 2021

BREAKING: High Court gives challenge over Ministers’ use of private email and WhatsApp green light

Our challenge over Ministers’ persistent use of private emails and messaging apps like WhatsApp and Signal for Government business has just been given a huge boost: the High Court has granted us permission to proceed on all grounds. 

This follows a hearing yesterday before two judges in the High Court – a rare occurrence at such an early stage of a case, but a sign perhaps of the importance of the issues involved. 

This is a significant development. We will now have the opportunity to highlight the inadequacy of Government’s policies on private emails and messaging apps. The High Court will also hear of serious and persistent breaches of these policies by the Prime Minister, disgraced ex-Health Secretary Matt Hancock, Lord Bethell and other senior decision-makers. 

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This case goes to the heart of the fight for Government transparency. It’s taken months and months of work to get us here – and has only been possible because of regular donations from people like you.

Conducting Government business away from official channels not only flies in the face of Ministers’ legal obligations to preserve official records about key decisions – from care homes to PPE – it also severely undermines their ability to comply with the Freedom of Information Act and their duty of candour to the Courts. 

2020 was the worst year on record for UK Government secrecy. They seem determined to keep it up. We are determined to stop them. 

Our Judicial Review will be heard over three days alongside another case brought by The Citizens and Foxglove, which tackles some of the same grounds as our claim. We will let you know as soon as we have a Court date.

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