Cabinet Office launches investigation into disputed Nicola Sturgeon leaked memo
Cabinet secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood has launched an investigation into the leaked memo which claimed SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon would prefer David Cameron to remain in power after the general election.
The controversial memo formed the basis of a Daily Telegraph story saying Sturgeon had expressed a preference for the Conservatives rather than Labour to win the general election and that she did not see Ed Miliband as "PM material".
But Sturgeon branded the story "categorically, 100% untrue" and dismissed the memo's account of her conversation with the French ambassador as "inaccurate".
French officials have also denied that she made the comments.
In an article in today's Observer, Sturgeon once again reaffirmed that the story was untrue.
Scotland's first minister wrote: "I’d like to address the matter of the leaked UK government memo about my meeting with the French ambassador. This story has already been shown to be 100% untrue – having been comprehensively rejected by both the French ambassador and consul general.
"I am therefore writing to the head of the UK civil service, Sir Jeremy Heywood, requesting an urgent inquiry into the circumstances of such a false account being leaked for transparently political motives."
That investigation has now been instigated by Heywood, who said in a letter to Sturgeon: "You have asked me to investigate issues relating to the apparent leak of a Scotland Office memo that forms the basis of this morning's Daily Telegraph story.
"I can confirm that earlier today I instigated a Cabinet Office-led leak inquiry to establish how extracts from this document may have got into the public domain."