MINISTERS today insisted they did NOT report Boris Johnson to the cops over a new partygate scandal.
The ex-PM was referred to police again over more claims of lockdown breaches at Chequers.
Mr Johnson handed over his ministerial diaries to Cabinet Office chiefs ahead of the formal Covid inquiry, which is due to start in October.
In an extraordinary turn of events, those diaries were later passed on to the Met and Thames Valley Police after civil servants spotted evidence of more potential lockdown breaches.
Civil servant lawyers, who are representing BoJo as a former head of government, ended up having to report him to cops.
Now, furious allies of the ex-PM are slamming the move as a politically motivated "witch hunt".
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But Cabinet Office officials hit back today, insisting no ministers were involved in trawling through the diaries and passing on information.
They argued government lawyers were duty-bound to pass on the information.
A Cabinet Office spokesperson said: "Ministers played no role in deciding whether the information should be handed over to the police.
"The decision to contact the police and the subsequent decision to share the information was not made by Ministers but by officials acting in line with the Civil Service Code."
BoJo is now firing his government-appointed solicitors.
He said he's lost confidence in them after the police report and wants to pick his own representatives for the Covid Inquiry.
But any change in legal team will need Cabinet Office sign-off, as it's taxpayer funded.
In a raging letter to the Covid Inquiry, Boris said: "You may be aware that I am currently instructing new solicitors to represent me in the Inquiry.
"That process is well underway but is in the hands of the Cabinet Office to agree funding and other practical arrangements. I have no control over the timing of that process.
"As at today, I am unrepresented and my counsel team have been instructed not to provide me with any advice."
It comes as the Covid Inquiry today threatened to SUE the government unless it hands over unredacted copies of Whatsapp exchanges Boris had on a Covid-19 group chat and with 40 government figures, including Rishi Sunak, during the pandemic.
The probe also wants to lay eyes on 24 of Boris' notebooks.
The Cabinet Office has rejected the request so far, arguing the blurred texts are "unambiguously irrelevant" and would be a "serious intrusion of privacy "due to their "informal and conversational nature".
Lady Hallett, a former senior appeal court judge and Chair of the Covid Inquiry strongly disagreed.
She argued: "There are some passages within the material that remain redacted on grounds of 'unambiguous irrelevance' that I consider are in fact relevant to my investigation and that I would wish to disclose to Core Participants."
Rivka Goettlib, spokesperson for Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice UK said: "This inquiry needs to get to the facts if it is to learn lessons to help save lives in the next pandemic, so well done to Baroness Hallet for standing up to the Cabinet Office on this occasion.
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"It’s outrageous that they think they can dictate to an independent inquiry which of Boris Johnson’s WhatsApp messages they can see."
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A No10 spokesperson today said: "There is an established process for these matters to be looked at and those processes are going on.
"And it's right that when concerns arise those processes are followed."
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