An investigation has begun into allegations that material was leaked from within the civil service to supposedly damage the campaign of Tory leadership contender Penny Mordaunt.
Simon Case, the most senior civil servant in the country, confirmed that an inquiry has been launched into allegations of leaking.
David Davis, one of Ms Mordaunt’s most prominent backers within the Conservative Party, wrote to the Cabinet Secretary over the weekend to raise his concerns that information had been leaked to damage her leadership campaign.
In his response dated July 19, Mr Case said: “Thank you for your letter of 17 July, raising your concerns about the apparent leaking of information designed to influence the Conservative leadership election.
Penny Mordaunt Victoria Jones
“I have been very clear in writing with the civil service that it is paramount that public resources are not used to support leadership campaigns during the Conservative Party leadership election.
“Further to that, unauthorised disclosure of government information to the media is clearly inappropriate. In light of these facts and the concerns you raise, I can confirm that I have launched a leak investigation into this matter.”
Mr Case gave no specific details of what the inquiry would focus on.
“The investigation will be completed as quickly as possible given the importance of the subject,” Mr Case added.
A Cabinet Office spokesman said that it does not comment on leak investigations.
Ms Mordaunt dropped out of the Conservative leadership race earlier today, with Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak the final two candidates remaining.
In the final round of voting by Tory MPs, Ms Mordaunt received 105 votes, Mr Sunak 137 and Ms Truss 113.
Penny Mordaunt dropped out of the running to become Tory leader earlier today, with Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak the final two candidates remaining UK Parliament