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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 March 2007, 08:30 GMT
Judge rejects honours injunction
Scotland Yard sign
The police inquiry began a year ago
The Metropolitan Police have failed to stop a national newspaper from publishing an account of developments in the cash-for-honours inquiry.

A judge declined to grant an injunction on Monday night because printing of the Guardian had already begun.

The paper published the story, which it said was well-sourced and significant, about the continuing police inquiry.

The Metropolitan Police said they remained concerned that publication might undermine their investigation.

The Guardian's editor, Alan Rusbridger, said his journalists had checked the contents of the item with both Lord Levy, Labour's chief fundraiser, and with the police.

The paper had argued that in this country the state could not, in law, seek to prevent newspapers in advance from publishing material.

The Metropolitan Police said they had told the newspaper they were concerned about the article and had sought an undertaking that it would not deal with some aspects of the story.

The cash-for-honours probe began a year ago. All involved deny wrongdoing.

Police are investigating allegations that honours were exchanged for loans to the Labour Party.

The probe switched its focus recently from the question of cash-for-peerages to allegations of a cover-up.

No-one has been charged with any offence in connection with the investigation.

Meanwhile, an injunction preventing the BBC reporting a story on Friday about the cash-for-honours inquiry was varied on Monday.

This means the BBC can report that the document which sparked the police investigation into an alleged Downing Street cover-up was written by head of Government Relations Ruth Turner and was about Tony Blair's chief fundraiser Lord Levy. It cannot, though, give any details of the content of the document.


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