Furious Brown orders inquiry into leaked pensions letter

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Indy Politics

Gordon Brown has demanded an inquiry into the leaking of his letter to Lord Turner's Pensions Commission as the row with Tony Blair over the direction of pensions reform deepened.

Gus O'Donnell, the Cabinet Secretary, immediately launched an investigation yesterday and began interviewing the small circle of officials in Downing Street and the Treasury who had seen the Chancellor's letter.

Mr Brown was furious over the leak, which led to the Chancellor being accused by Blairites of attempting to block the review before it reports next week. Clearly suspecting that his letter had been leaked by Downing Street, Mr Brown demanded that the Treasury Permanent Secretary, Nicholas McPherson, take action. Mr McPherson called in the Cabinet Secretary.

A Brown ally said: "Gordon was clear he wanted the correct procedures taken because he was being accused by opposition MPs and others with being responsible for the leak. He was clear no one in the Treasury was responsible."

It would be hugely embarrassing for No 10 if they were found to be responsible. Mr Blair's spokesman said: "I can categorically deny as far as my knowledge goes ... that we were responsible for the leak."