Public Record Office: Heath's inquiry found he was the source of leak

Wednesday 01 January 2003 01:00

Edward Heath launched an inquiry into the leak of sensitive information while he was Prime Minister, only to be informed that he himself was the source of the disclosure. He was reluctant to authorise the top-level Whitehall inquiry into a story in The Times that the Cabinet was due to discuss an initiative on Northern Ireland in February 1972 – saying he found it "a bore".

But he was forced into it by officials who assumed he would like the opportunity to "read the riot act" to ministers who were being too free with privileged information, according to notes released by the Public Record Office today. The inquiry ended with a discreet note addressed to the Prime Minister by his private secretary, Robert Armstrong, which recorded that "the minister concerned was the Prime Minister".

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