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WhatsApp goes down for users across the UK

Messaging platform WhatsApp has gone down for users across the UK, leaving Tory MPs without a crucial communications tool on the day Rishi Sunak enters office as Prime Minister and begins a Cabinet reshuffle.

Thousands have taken to social media to complain that they are unable to send or receive messages on the popular Meta-owned platform.

WhatsApp has confirmed it is aware of the issue and is working to fix the problem.

Stock photo of the WhatsApp app icon on a smartphone. (60203003)
Stock photo of the WhatsApp app icon on a smartphone. (60203003)

Among the most concerned users of the app are likely to be Conservative MPs – the platform is a widely used tool among backbenchers, Cabinet ministers, and their aides to discuss public messaging and regularly gauge the mood of the Parliamentary party.

On the day of a Cabinet reshuffle, many MPs hopeful of landing a ministerial job will currently be without a vital way of sounding out advisers and contacts on their own chances and the fate of their colleagues.

The app has previously been identified as the communications tool of choice for MPs plotting against their leader, and Boris Johnson is said to have often been sent summaries of key Government information via the app during his time in Downing Street.

After opening the app on Tuesday morning, users have found that while they can still access their conversations, the app is failing to deliver new messages, or send any that they attempt to transmit.

A persistent message is showing for many users at the top of the app, saying it is “connecting” to the server, but then appears to fail to do so, leaving users unable to send or receive any messages.

According to the service status website Downdetector, users began reporting issues with WhatsApp at just before 8am on Tuesday morning, with more than 12,000 reports of issues reported to the website by 8.30am.

WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging platforms in the UK and around the world and is estimated to have more than two billion active users globally.

In a statement, a WhatsApp spokesperson said: “We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble sending messages and we’re working to restore WhatsApp for everyone as quickly as possible.”

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