KATE Forbes has said she has kept all her pandemic WhatsApp messages and insisted she has shared “everything” with the UK Covid Inquiry.

The former finance minister told journalists in Holyrood that she had “not deleted anything” and maintained all relevant correspondence from her time in the Scottish Cabinet during Covid. 

It comes after former first minister Nicola Sturgeon addressed journalists in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday, where she insisted she has “nothing to hide”.

And, Deputy First Minister Shona Robison told MSPs that the Scottish Government is set to hand over more than 14,000 WhatsApp messages to the Inquiry after the probe requested them via a legal order. 

READ MORE: Rishi Sunak blocks Scottish Government from major AI summit

On Wednesday afternoon, Forbes was asked if she had retained her WhatsApp messages from during the pandemic. 

The Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch MSP replied: “I have, I have not deleted anything and I have retained all relevant correspondence and that includes retaining all my WhatsApp messages.”

Asked if she shared those messages with the inquiry, Forbes added: “I have shared everything that the Covid Inquiry has asked of me. 

“Now you will know the Covid Inquiry is evolving, it’s on a rolling basis, and since the requests were first put to me a number of months ago I have provided them with everything they asked for.

The National: Kate Forbes

“And they’ve asked additional issues over that period, which I have cooperated fully with and I will continue to cooperate with them over the coming months and years.”

Asked if her messages were included in the 14,000 set to be handed over by the Scottish Government, Forbes said: “Well we have each responded with a statement and correspondence requested by the Covid inquiry and as indeed I think the Deputy First Minister said yesterday what is unusual about this inquiry is that we’re all giving evidence on our own account.

“So we are each answerable for the evidence that we provide, and I’ve certainly cooperated fully to date and provided everything that the Inquiry has asked for.”

Asked if she was the person the inquiry said had handed over WhatsApps, Forbes said she could not speak to what others had supplied the probe with, adding that she hoped to have the opportunity to provide oral evidence.

READ MORE: Dominic Cummings: Covid meetings with devolved leaders 'performance'

On First Minister Humza Yousaf’s previous comments from earlier in the week that it was Scottish Government policy to routinely delete WhatsApps, Forbes said: “Well I suppose my approach has been where if something is relevant to my role as minister I have retained it.

“If I could take a step back and say it’s really critical that the Covid inquiries provide answers to all those that were affected during the Covid years, and I think that calls for the greatest possible source of information, correspondence, evidence and so on.”

In relation to reported claims that some officials and ministers had allegedly deleted messages, Forbes again insisted she could not speak for others.

Yousaf insisted earlier this week that he had not deleted messages and was also fully cooperating with the inquiry.