Covid Inquiry: Jibes at other ministers among DUP WhatsApps

More than 60 pages of WhatsApp messages between Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) ministers have been published by the UK Covid-19 Inquiry.

The messages give an insight into the thoughts of some of the party’s most senior figures as the pandemic spread.

In often candid exchanges, messages include jibes at ministers from other parties in Stormont’s executive.

The WhatsApp group chat covers the period between January and November 2020.

On 17 January, six days after the executive was restored following a three-year-hiatus, a person whose name has been redacted by the inquiry wrote: “SF [Sinn Féin] doesn’t seem to have matured at all!”

Emma Little-Pengelly, who was then a DUP special adviser and is now deputy first minister, replied with apparent sarcasm.

“Well, why not – let English taxpayers subsidise our free prescriptions, lower rates, no water charges, lower tuition fees and free prescriptions.. but hey, how dare you guys starve us of funding #Perfidious Albion,” she wrote.

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