LONDON (Bywire News) - While the British media has found itself entangled in relentless scrutiny of private lives such as that of Hugh Edwards, facing accusations based on unsubstantiated claims, arguably larger scandals appear to have slipped by relatively unnoticed. One such issue pertains to our former Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, who is currently ensnared in controversy over alleged evasion of a High Court ruling demanding access to his mobile phone records related to the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, reports Owen Jones.
Mr. Johnson's political journey, frequently marked by allegations of dishonesty and self-aggrandisement, allowed him to secure the top job in British politics despite widespread concerns about his suitability. His term of office was a period riddled with scandal and alleged illegality, which unfortunately ran in parallel with a global health crisis. The question now raised by critics is whether Johnson, as the man in charge, should bear any accountability for the grim toll of the pandemic on the UK.
As per the High Court ruling, Johnson was to provide unredacted diaries, notebooks, and WhatsApp messages regarding the government's management of the pandemic by 4 p.m. on a specific Monday. However, the former Prime Minister caused uproar by missing the deadline, claiming he had forgotten the password to his phone.
This excuse has been met with disbelief, turning into outrage when Johnson claimed that he had lost his password, rendering retrieval of the essential information impossible. The Times reported concerns that multiple incorrect password entries might result in the automatic erasure of data from the device.
Critics, given Johnson's track record of perceived dishonesty, find this excuse hard to stomach, particularly given the vital nature of the information in question. A failure to comply with the High Court's demand is viewed as an obstruction of a comprehensive investigation into the decisions and failures that marked the UK's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many believe that the contents of these messages could shed light on decisions taken during the early days of the pandemic, Johnson's alleged absences from Cobra meetings, and various controversies related to the pandemic response, such as the procurement of PPE.
Johnson's political legacy continues to be hotly debated, with some arguing that his political career, steeped in controversy, finally imploded due to his perceived incompetence. What is clear is that the question of his accountability for the pandemic's impact on the UK will remain a point of contention for some time. As the country continues to grapple with the aftermath, the need for transparency and scrutiny has never been more critical.
(By Michael O'Sullivan)