Daily Mail, Wednesday, November 27, 1996

THIS was the timetable of the leak:

NOV 22:

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.

NOV 23-24:

Freelance journalist,given Budget documents, approaches Mirror editor Piers Morgan.

NOV 25:

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.

NOV 26: 

Security officers begin interrogating suspects.

1996 Budget Leak Time Table

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