Scotland’s chief medical officer told colleagues to delete WhatsApp messages “at the end of every day” during the pandemic, the Covid inquiry has heard.

Professor Sir Gregor Smith’s has added to a growing political storm around the retention of informal messages by senior decision makers and their advisers during the handling of Covid-19.

Former first minister Nicola Sturgeon and her deputy John Swinney did not retain messages, while the national clinical director, Professor Jason, Leitch said deleting messages was a “bedtime ritual”.

During an appearance before the inquiry on Monday, as it continues to take evidence in Edinburgh, a message from the chief medical officer in a group chat in July 2021 with other Government medical advisers was shown for the first time.

Deputy chief medical officer, Professor Graham Ellis, said “hope this isn’t FOI-able?” in reference to freedom of information, in an exchange where he appeared to joke about having “my own supply” of cannabis.

Responding, Sir Gregor said: “Delete at the end of every day…”

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