Prosecutions warning over MoD leaks

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Investigations into leaks at the Ministry of Defence (MoD) are likely to result in "a number" of prosecutions, Liam Fox said today.

The Defence Secretary insisted he had no idea who was behind the leaking of letters and documents from his department, and did not discount the possibility that a Cabinet colleague was involved.

"We are investigating very much at the present time and we have a number of potential court cases coming as a consequence," he told the Murnaghan programme on Sky News.

Last month a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron in which Dr Fox challenged plans to put the aid budget on a statutory footing was leaked to a newspaper.

That followed another letter to Mr Cameron which was leaked last September. In that one Dr Fox warned about the impact of proposed cuts in the MoD budget.

Asked today whether he thought a fellow Cabinet minister was behind the leaks, he said: "Well, you never know, and that's the whole thing with leaks.

"They are unprofessional and they are unethical, and in being unwilling to stand up and argue the case publicly they are cowardly. It's a culture I think that's emerged in recent years and it's hugely regrettable."

Dr Fox said he had "no idea who leaks" or therefore what their motivations were, but he said they meant ministers would be less likely to commit private views to paper and more inclined to discuss matters face-to-face with no witnesses.