An internal inquiry at the Daily Telegraph has provisionally cleared its journalists of leaking a taped recording of Vince Cable “declaring war” on Rupert Murdoch.
Private investigation firm Kroll has initially concluded that none of the paper’s editorial staff were responsible for the story being handed over to the BBC’s business editor Robert Peston, who immediately published it.
The leak came as an embarrassment to the Telegraph as critics suggested the paper had withheld the story for commercial reasons, having named itself among the opponents of Murdoch’s bid to takeover BSkyB.
The paper had been running a number of other “exclusives” after some of its journalists posed as voters at Liberal Democrat constituent meetings. But Peston stole their thunder with the Cable quotes, compromising the Business Secretary’s impartiality, resulting in his responsibility for media mergers being given to Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
According to MediaGuardian, Kroll’s investigation has turned to the Telegraph‘s IT department. Technical support manager Jim Robinson was reputedly questioned in January and has now left after strenuously denying any involvement for a job at News International.