The word has gone out from Labour to moan about the number of Budget leaks that have happened. It’s easier than offering up real arguments. MPs and the dutiful Twitterati have fallen in line and are evoking the spirit of Hugh Dalton, the Chancellor who resigned in 1947 after briefing the Lobby before his Budget speech. But when did that precedent go out the window?
The BBC noted back in 2008:
“During former Chancellor Gordon Brown’s time at Number 11, he installed a system of briefing for the press around his pre-Budget Statement.”
In 2005 the entire Budget made it into the first edition of the Standard before Gordon had even started his speech. Amazing how quickly a party can develop a new set of principles once it is in opposition…
UPDATE: Leaks to Labour are of course in the public interest: