Labour urged to plug leaks

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Civil service leakers are "sabotaging" the Government, Sir Robin Butler, the Cabinet Secretary and head of the Civil Service, warned last night, when he appealed for help from Labour MPs to stop more leaks. Sir Robin, responsible for leaks inquiries, said the leaking of the Budget details was evidence of action to embarrass the Government and sabotage its work. It was not done to force disclosure.

He told the committee on public service there were 400 leaks in the past 16 years and 30 per cent went to the Opposition, pressure groups and trade unions. The rest went to the press. "This is damaging to our system of Government," he said. He refused to be drawn on the claim by Michael Heseltine, the Deputy Prime Minister, that civil servants were helping Labour. Colin Brown

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