The Telegraph today published a series of documents including letters said to have been sent between former prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, revealing what the newspaper called “the extraordinary rift at the heart of Labour”.
The cache of documents show for the first time Mr Brown’s feelings towards Mr Blair in his own words and handwriting, material which has previously only been the subject of speculation and second-hand reports from anonymous sources.
Look I’m not going to deny to you there weren’t tensions, there weren’t arguments. It was hard during that period … But the allegation there was a plot, that there was nastiness, brutality, is just not true. It’s not justified either by the documents themselves or by what was actually happening at the time.
The Cabinet Office has since confirmed it is looking at whether the particular set of papers was in the possession of any government department, and only then would it look at whether a breach had occurred. Following this announcement the Guardian reports that education secretary Michael Gove said he was “confident his office will be cleared”.
The Guardian reported over the weekend that the owner of the Daily Telegraph is understood to have called in a private investigative firm look at the leak of Vince Cable’s comments about Rupert Murdoch to the BBC.
The comments, which the Telegraph had decided not to include in its report, were published by the BBC’s business editor, Robert Peston, on his blog.
Telegraph Media Group said today that it does not comment on internal security matters.
The row over an alleged attack on press freedom by French president Nicolas Sarkozy continues this week after it was confirmed by police that a senior official has been implicated as part of an investigation into leaked information.
According to a BBC News report, French newspaper Le Monde is to file a lawsuit accusing the office of President Sarkozy of spying on its journalists, claiming it understands an intelligence service was used to identify one its sources in relation to a story ran in July.
The report in question by Le Monde linked a minister to an investigation by authorities into L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt and donations to Sarkozy’s 2007 election campaign. The president’s office reportedly rejects the claims made by the paper.
If the Elysée Palace really ordered government personnel to violate the law on the secrecy of sources in the Woerth-Bettencourt case, it would constitute a violation of press freedom as serious as tapping journalists’ telephones.
We offer Le Monde all our support in its determination to establish whether the government violated the confidentiality of sources. These allegations must be treated with the utmost seriousness. Reinforcing the protection of journalists’ sources was one of Nicolas Sarkozy’s campaign promises and a law was even voted in January. It would be intolerable if the Elysée Palace were the first to break a law requested by the president.