NEW: Cabinet Secretary Simon Case says he hopes the leak inquiry is “complex” but hopes its conclusions can be shared with Parliament in “weeks rather than months.”
Think it’s fair to say Case seems nervous.
Case is asked if it’s typical to tell individuals (Cummings) that they’re exonerated half way through an inquiry. Case says he can’t comment on individuals.
But does say that providing updates is “part of the normal process”
Case refuses to verify whether or not Cummings’ claims were true because he says he’s constrained by what he can say because it’s in “context of an ongoing investigation.”
Case is basically refusing to say anything.
He keeps saying they’ve kept the Speaker updated on Privy Council terms as an exceptional step and very little else.
. @lloyd_rm asks the fair question as to why if as Case has confirmed this doesn’t concern a criminal matter why he claims he’s unable to say virtually anything at all.
Case says the Government Security Group has told him he’s unable to say anything beyond what he’s already said.
. @johnmcdonnellMP says he’s “incredulous” that the leak inquiry has taken 6 months.
. @JackieDP says the length of time the inquiry has taken is a clear incentive for other leaks.
MPs increasingly frustrated. Labour MP Karin Smith asks him why as the guardian of propriety of government standards he thinks it’s acceptable he’s been told he can say nothing about these matters. Says they’ve spent 40 mins “going round in a circle.”
Important: Case says that work on a Downing Street Trust has been ongoing for more than a year. Says Lord Brownlow- a Conservative donor “agreed to be chairman of a putative trust.”
Extraordinary. Case is repeatedly asked by David Jones (Tory MP) whether or not he's aware that any private donations were made to refurbish the flat. Case says he "doesn't have all the facts and details" with regards to the matter. He's the Head of the Civil Service.
Case is asked this five times. He just says he's been asked to review the matter by the Prime Minister.

Remember, the Cabinet Sec is supposed to be the ultimate guarantor of propriety in a system of government. It's not as if he didn't know he'd be asked about these matters.
This is not the finest hour for the Civil Service. Case had a tricky hand to play today and the relationship between ministers and CSs can be a tortuous one- they must balance between ministerial interest and the public interest. Doesn't feel like much of a balance today.
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