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Boris Johnson said ‘sorry to Tory MPs over leak of new second lockdown’

Boris Johnson has told Conservative MPs that he will launch an inquiry to find the "culprit" who leaked details of his new lockdown.

Multiple newspapers found out on Friday that the Prime Minister would plunge England into another second national lockdown this week in an attempt to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The Times reported that Johnson would hold a press conference on Monday after discussing alarming new data with Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove and Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

The government responded to the leak by moving the press conference forward to Saturday.

An apologetic Boris messaged fellow Conservative MPs on WhatsApp to say sorry and warned them that there are "no easy short term options".

The Prime Minister wrote: "Folks – so sorry that you've had to hear about all this from the newspapers today.

"Let me assure you that the leak was not a no10 briefing and indeed we have launched an inquiry to catch the culprit. I had hoped to make the announcement in parliament on Monday but to avoid any further uncertainty I'll now do a press conference from Downing Street this evening."

His WhatsApp message, seen by the PA news agency, added: "My team will make sure you have access to all the data and briefing from scientists you need in the coming days. Please speak to your whip if you have anything to feed in.

"I assure you we are doing what we believe is best for the country and to ensure that the NHS is not overwhelmed in a way that could cost many thousands of lives.

"There is a clear way out of this, with better medication and rapid testing – and the genuine prospect of a vaccine. Our country will recover well. But I am afraid there are no easy short term options. Best Boris."

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