Skip to main content
Case Update

Private Emails: An update

17th April 2023

We are disappointed to have to tell you that the Supreme Court has decided not to hear our appeal against decisions of the lower courts challenging the lawfulness of the use of private communication channels to conduct public business.

lazyllama / Shutterstock

These decisions give the green light to Ministers and their advisors to continue using covert communications channels – in breach of the Government’s own policies – to conduct official business.

Disappearing WhatsApps and their like have been repeatedly used by Ministers and their advisors – including throughout the pandemic, when making important and costly decisions. These have put our national security at risk – there is evidence that Ministers’ phones have been hacked – and led to important public records being lost to history, with grave implications, including for the protection of public money.

The Supreme Court’s decision means we cannot take this issue any further. This leaves the law in a very troubling state. 

But we can – and will – continue to expose Government wrongdoing and hold power to account. We can only do this with your help. If you are interested in supporting us, you can do so here and sign-up to our email updates here.



This article is part of our Private emails, public accountability? case

Government Ministers have been using private email accounts to conduct official business. This was the case throughout the pandemic, when Boris Johnson and others were making important, costly decisions. So far our legal action to challenge the practice hasn’t succeeded, but we’re not giving up. We’re now seeking an appeal hearing in the Supreme Court.

See more about this case