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Ministers were asked to delete instant messages, indicating a legal challenge.

Court documents have revealed that ministers and government officials have been asked to automatically delete instant messaging conversations.

A legal challenge from the Citizens’ Campaign Group – which condemned the use of missing messages and accused ministers of being “by the government”. WhatsAppThe High Court proceeded.

Transparency campaigners claim that the routine use of WhatsApp and Signals, which includes the option to delete messages, has been used to avoid scrutiny of decisions made during the Cowayd crisis.

A High Court judicial review of the rules, and new details revealed. Cabinet Office“Information and record keeping and destruction policy” for ministers and government employees.

Government policy states: “Instant messaging is provided to all staff and should be used as an email preference for normal communication where there is no need to maintain a communication record.”

He added: “The history of instant messaging in individual and group chats should be turned off and not maintained after the session is over. Make a note and the content of the message should be stored in it.

The Citizens, in collaboration with the legal group FoxGlove, said it was challenging the legality of using instant messaging services that allow automatic deletion of messages during government business.

Clara McGuire, director of Citizens, called the court’s decision a “good day for democracy” and said the lack of transparency was “at the heart of the UK government’s catastrophic handling of the cowardly catastrophe”.

He added: “We believe this case is in his heart. [transparency] The problem and we are waiting for the government to prove through WhatsApp not only dangerous but also illegal.

“We’re glad we’ve won the right to take the WhatsApp government to court. This is the first case of its kind, and it raises a significant issue in modern government,” said Corey Creeder, director of FoxGlove.

Angela Rainer, Labor’s deputy leader, said ministers should not govern with private messages that are then deleted; this is completely undemocratic and an attack on transparency and accountability.

A spokesman for the Cabinet Office said: “Ministers will use modern forms of communication to communicate in accordance with legislative requirements and government guidance.”

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