Chancellor hones Budget Speech. He and the Prime Minister are the only Cabinet members who know all its secrets. Copy for press releases sent out.
Freelance journalist,given Budget documents, approaches Mirror editor Piers Morgan.
11am: Mirror political editor Kevin Maguire collects documents. Mirror executives fear a hoax and send staff to double-check. Lawyers Consulted.
7pm: Mr Morgan contacts John Major’s office. TreasurySolicitor prepares to seek injunction preventing publication.
7.20pm: MrMorgan agrees Downing Street can see documents, decides not to publish details but to focus on fact of the most sensational Government leak ever’.
7.40pm: Mr Major informed, orders Cabinet Secretary Sir Robin Butler to launch molehunt. Mr Morgan announces decision not to publish but injunction is taken out anyway.
9pm: News of leak spreads at Westminster party hosted by Speaker Betty Boothroyd. Prince Philip informs some Ministers present.
10pm: Mirror delivers documents to Downing Street. Officials confirm they are genuine. Labour front bench informed. Treasury permanent secretary Sir Terence Burns brought in to help oversee leak inquiry.
11pm: DowningStreet claims not all documents were returned.
12.30am: Mirror hands in remaining papers.
Security officers begin interrogating suspects.