Labour demands the Government bring in MI5 to hunt for the ‘chatty rat’ mole after lockdown leak

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Labour demands the Government bring in MI5 to hunt for the ‘chatty rat’ mole who ‘bounced’ Boris Johnson into a second lockdown

  • Plans for England’s second lockdown were leaked on Friday following a meeting with just four Cabinet Ministers, forcing No10 to make an announcement
  • It sparked claims that a Minister or adviser – dubbed ‘chatty rat’ – was responsible
  • Shadow Security Minister Conor McGinn called for the government to act

Labour last night demanded to know if MI5 had been brought in by the Government in the hunt for the ‘chatty rat’ mole who ‘bounced’ Boris Johnson into a second lockdown.

Shadow Security Minister Conor McGinn wrote a letter to his Tory counterpart James Brokenshire asking him to ‘confirm whether security services resources could, or have been, deployed to help identify the source of this leak’.

He said that given the ‘considerable distress and confusion’ caused by the leak and the ‘clear security implications’, the Government should work ‘on a cross-party basis to help identify those responsible’.

Boris Johnson, pictured on November 10, is being urged to call in the police to identify the so-called ‘Chatty Rat’ who potentially risked lives by leaking plans for the second Covid lockdown

Plans for England’s second lockdown were leaked on a Friday night after a meeting attended by just four Cabinet Ministers, which led to an extraordinary scramble at No10 to arrange a special Saturday press conference to make the announcement.

It sparked claims that a Minister, or adviser – dubbed a ‘chatty rat’ by a senior Government source – had revealed the plans to bounce Boris into the shutdown.

Two Ministers who attended the briefing, Michael Gove and Matt Hancock, were ordered to surrender their phones, although both denied any wrongdoing. Suggestions that former No 10 advisers Dominic Cummings and Lee Cain were involved have also been denied.

Shadow Security Minister Conor McGinn, pictured, wrote a letter to his Tory counterpart James Brokenshire asking him to 'confirm whether security services resources could, or have been, deployed to help identify the source of this leak'

Shadow Security Minister Conor McGinn, pictured, wrote a letter to his Tory counterpart James Brokenshire asking him to 'confirm whether security services resources could, or have been, deployed to help identify the source of this leak'

Shadow Security Minister Conor McGinn, pictured, wrote a letter to his Tory counterpart James Brokenshire asking him to ‘confirm whether security services resources could, or have been, deployed to help identify the source of this leak’

In his letter, Mr McGinn says: ‘As you will be aware, alongside causing considerable distress and confusion for people, there are clear security implications regarding this leak. 

‘If it is possible for the most sensitive information, of national importance, to be released improperly, there are clear concerns regarding what other, potentially damaging, information can be leaked.’

Last night, Mr McGinn told The Mail on Sunday: ‘The leaking of the plans for a national lockdown could not be a more serious breach. These were highly sensitive plans, held in very few hands. 

‘It raises serious questions about security and propriety at the heart of Government. We must now use every tool available to uncover the source and take appropriate firm action.’

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