Cabinet secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood has initiated an inquiry into how a civil service account of a private meeting between SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon and the French ambassador was obtained by The Telegraph.
The newspaper published an account of what it says came from a leaked official British government memo, which includes details of a private meeting between the Scottish first minister and Sylvie Bermann, the French ambassador to the UK.
It claims that Ms Sturgeon said she did not believe Labour leader Ed Miliband was "PM material", which would contradict her vision of working informally with Labour as a progressive alliance to bring an end to austerity.
Ed Miliband said the claims were "damning" when the alleged details of the memo first emerged on 3 April, however Ms Sturgeon, along with a spokesman for Ms Bermann, has "categorically denied" the account.
"The bigger question and one I am raising with the head of the civil service is who wrote this memo since the foreign office seem to be denying all knowledge of it," she said.
She told the BBC: "It suggests a Whitehall system out of control - a place where political dirty tricks are manufactured and leaked."Reuse content