Peter Hoskin

The Tories try to plug a leak

The Tories try to plug a leak
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What a difference two weeks make.  When the Ashcroft story first broke, the Tory response was equal parts sloppy and defensive.  Now, their operation seems altogether more incisive.  William Hague kicked off his Today programme interview by saying that leak of Cabinet Office papers to the BBC was proof of Labour's "culture of leak, half-truth and spin".  And Sir George Young has just written to the Cabinet Secretary asking him to hold an inquiry into the matter.  Here's a copy of the letter:

Sir Gus O'Donnell KCB

Cabinet Secretary

Cabinet Office

70 Whitehall

London SW1A 2AS  

Sensitive papers prepared by the Cabinet Office for a Select Committee inquiry have been leaked to the BBC.

You will be aware that this is a serious matter. As the Cabinet Office has previously stated, all leaks have a corrosive effect on the business of government. It is of particular concern in such close proximity to a general election.

I am writing to ask you to instigate a leak inquiry to establish who was responsible for this breach of confidence.

Rt. Hon. Sir George Young MP

Shadow Leader of the House

And you can now read the Cabinet Office papers here.