03:18 GMT19 January 2021
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    Before the Prime Minister had had an opportunity to announce the second lockdown in England because of rising coronavirus cases, the plans were leaked to the press. This led to an investigation launched by the Government into who could be responsible for the breach.

    Boris Johnson has informed MPs he is still looking for the "chatty rat" who leaked details over potential plans for the second lockdown in England, the New European reported on Tuesday.

    The British Prime Minister has pledged to update the House of Commons “if” the source is found, an unnamed source claims.

    Johnson said to Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle that MPs should be kept informed about the ongoing inquiry into the “unauthorised disclosure”.

    “This investigation remains ongoing," he wrote in a ministerial statement. “If the final aspects of the investigation identify the source, the Government will provide a further update to the House."

    Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said in November that the leak should receive a "criminal investigation" if necessary.

    "I consider this to be probably the most serious leak I can recall in the time I have been in Parliament because it literally played with people’s lives. If necessary, the PM should actually call in the police," Duncan Smith told the Mail on Sunday.

    The plans of the second lockdown were leaked to The Times before the announcement by the Prime Minister that England would see a full closure on 30 October.

    Prominent cabinet ministers - including Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove and Health Secretary Matt Hancock - had their phones checked to discover whether any calls, text messages or WhatsApp conversations had been conducted with the media, the Mail on Sunday reported.

    Both denied they were to blame.

    The total lockdown was ultimately lifted after four weeks and replaced with a heavier tier system.

    Tags:
    United Kingdom, Leaker, COVID-19, England, lockdown, Boris Johnson
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