James Forsyth

Turnbull savages chancellor Brown

Turnbull savages chancellor Brown
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Andrew Turnbull, who was permanent secretary at the Treasury from 1998 to 2002 and Cabinet Secretary from 2003 to 2005, has previous when it comes to criticising Gordon Brown. But his recent piece in the FT — ‘Six steps to salvage the Treasury’ — is one long barely coded attack on the PM. Take this line:

“First and perhaps foremost, it [the Treasury] needs a strong ministerial team – a chancellor who wants to be chancellor for the full term rather than coveting the prime minister’s job.”

Interestingly, Turnbull comes out in favour of the Tories’ plans to create an Office of Budgetary Responsibility. I know this is derided by some as yet another quango, but I actually think it will be an important reform. The status of the OBR will mean that it will be incredibly embarrassing for a Tory government to be pulled up by this body it has created.