Last week, the UK’s Covid Inquiry heard from key scientists and experts who advised the government during some of the most brutal periods of the pandemic. It offered glimpses of the chaos in Downing Street as life-or-death decisions were made. This week, the inquiry is hearing from the civil servants and advisers working closely if not happily with the then prime minister. Martin Reynolds, Boris Johnson’s principal private secretary, nicknamed “Party Marty” for arranging a bring-your-own-booze party in May 2020, was subjected to marathon questioning by the inquiry’s lead counsel yesterday. Key findings: Reynolds said the Cabinet Office was “not properly prepared” for the pandemic and couldn’t recall why he had turned on WhatsApp’s disappearing messages function in April 2021, a month before the inquiry was announced. But it was a note taken by a former prime ministerial aide, Imran Shafi, introduced into evidence at the end of the day, which should worry Johnson as he waits for his own turn to testify. Shafi wrote that Johnson asked after a meeting with his then chancellor, Rishi Sunak: “why are we destroying [the] economy for people who will die anyway soon?” On today’s agenda: Cummings and former Downing Street communications director Lee Cain.