Has Whitehall's 'Civil Serf' blogger blown her cover?

MYSTERY surrounded the fate of an indiscreet Whitehall blogger last night, after she became the subject of a molehunt.

The online diarist, known only as "Civil Serf", has been titillating readers with tales of incompetence from within the government machine since last November.

She claims to be a middle-ranking 33-year-old civil servant and recently lampooned the Chancellor Alistair Darling's desperation to garner "cheap headlines" with his debut Budget on Wednesday.

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Gordon Brown was branded "Velcro" because negative stories tended to stick to him – unlike his predecessor, "Teflon" Tony Blair.

And one post mocked Whitehall's culture of long meetings, stating: "I've received a meeting request that probably deserves a mention in the Guinness Book of Records. It is scheduled to last for a staggering seven hours."

However, after stories about her appeared in newspapers yesterday, the blog disappeared from view, fuelling speculation that Whitehall bosses had discovered her identity. She appears to have provided enough detail to be tracked down – including frequent references to welfare policy, and dates and locations of meetings she has attended.