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MPs demand tough stance on 'corrosive' leak culture

By David Hughes

A "corrosive" culture of leaking at the heart of Whitehall should be tackled with a robust approach and tougher sanctions, MPs urged.

The damage caused by the unauthorised release of Sir Kim Darroch's diplomatic dispatches from his role as UK ambassador in Washington showed the "reckless and dangerous" behaviour of leakers, a report said.

The Commons Foreign Affairs Committee suggested a review of Foreign Office classification measures for sensitive messages and suggested that leakers could face being stripped of their pensions and be made to pay for the cost of investigations.

Sir Kim resigned as UK ambassador to the US after his candid assessments of Donald Trump's "inept" administration were made public.

Committee chairman Tom Tugendhat said: "Leaks are corrosive and undermine the work of the FCO, the Civil Service and the wider Government. They place civil servants in untenable situations."

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