The speaker of the House of Commons has criticised a leak that revealed ministers were about to announce another lockdown in England.
Sir Lindsay Hoyle called the leak “unacceptable” and demanded the culprits apologise to parliament if an investigation launched over the weekend finds an MP was behind it.
The prime minister was forced to bring forward an announcement on a new nationwide lockdown after minutes of a meeting between him and his ministers on new Covid restrictions were leaked to the press.
That saw the prime minister declare on Saturday a fresh England-wide lockdown that would come into force on Thursday, pending a vote in the Commons, and which will see non-essentials shops close.
Sir Lindsay said any MP found to have leaked the details should apologise for showing “discourteous and unacceptable” behaviour.
In a statement, Sir Lindsay said: “After speaking with the prime minister and the Leader of the House (Jacob Rees-Mogg), who went to great lengths to assure me that the leaks were not from Downing Street, I expect the prime minister to keep the House updated on his leak inquiry.
“I also hope that if the leaker is identified and if a member of this House, that member will make a full apology to the House for the discourteous and unacceptable behaviour.”