Shouldn’t ‘Chatty Rat’ Leak Investigation Be Concluded Before Another Leak Investigation Commences?

Downing Street has announced there will be a Cabinet Office internal inquiry into the Dyson texts leak to the BBC. They made clear the inquiry won’t cover the other leaks we’ve had recently. None of the so-called “chatty rat” leaks will be re-examined.

The probe will only look at texts “as related to this issue of Dyson”, not how messages between Boris and Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman over an abortive bid for Newcastle United were also leaked. Nor has there been a public update on the leak inquiry (dating back to last October) hunting down the so-called “chatty rat” who leaked details of the second lockdown to friendly hacks. Arguably the former leak could have had diplomatic ramifications that impacted on national security, the latter leak during a pandemic is an equally serious matter. Why has there been no conclusion to the hunt for the “chatty rat”?

The working assumption in Westminster media circles is that Dominic Cummings was to blame for those leaks and Downing Street does not want to establish that fact officially because of the risk of blowback – who knows what Dom took with him in that box or on his phone? There might even have to be a messy prosecution under the Official Secrets Act. Better instead to let lying rats lie. Given Cummings was the prime source for so many of the Lobby’s most senior reporters you will not be surprised that this unproven, yet widely believed theory, goes largely unreported by them. The more paranoid even wonder if redthroat, Labour’s new Whitehall source of leaks, is providing cover for Dom. Which would be a three dimensional chess move that was well within the government’s OODA loop.

What would be the motive? Here things get a bit sketchy. Mere revenge for being kicked out seems a bit of a low rent motive. As part of a campaign to destabilise Boris before a triumphant return to Downing Street at the side of Prime Minister Gove? Gove surely has enough on his plate at the moment, with half of the Lobby currently trying to find out where he sleeps at night…

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