News story

Secretary of State anger at leaked letter to PM

Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox has issued a statement to Defence staff following media reports of a leaked letter he sent to the Prime Minister regarding potential cuts as part of the Strategic Defence and Security Review.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Dr Fox’s statement follows:

Many of you will have seen reports today of a leaked letter I sent to the Prime Minister.

It is entirely normal that Ministers should make representations to the Prime Minister during the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) and the Comprehensive Spending Review. That is an entirely proper part of the process of government. The Prime Minister is fully entitled to expect those representations to be made in private and kept private.

I am extremely angry that this confidential communication has been made public. The SDSR continues. We will reach decisions in due course collectively as a Government in the national interest, and abide by those decisions collectively - a principle which I entirely support.

It is totally unacceptable that a highly confidential letter from me to the Prime Minister should be leaked to the Daily Telegraph. I am utterly appalled by this breach of trust. I have agreed with PUS [Permanent Under Secretary] that an immediate and rigorous investigation must be undertaken and this is underway; it is being conducted urgently by the MOD Police.

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Published 29 September 2010