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Watch: Ed Vaizey grilled by Andrew Neil over George Osborne’s dodgy EU dossier

Watch: Ed Vaizey grilled by Andrew Neil over George Osborne's dodgy EU dossier
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It fell on Ed Vaizey, the culture minister, to defend George Osborne's dodgy EU dossier on the BBC's Daily Politics. As you might expect, he didn't do a very good job of it. Could he explain why the Chancellor used his new, misleading metric of "GDP per household" instead of the proper (and lower) figure of household income? No, he couldn't. Could he explain why, if the Chancellor thinks this new GDP-per-household metric is so important, he divided 2030 income by the 2016 number of households (27m) rather than the expected number then (31m)? No. Could he name another Treasury budget, or pre-Budget report, where this GDP per household had ever been used before? No. So could he in any way justify the bizarre claim that Brexit would make everyone £4,300 worse off. You know the answer.

Of course, Mr S feels sorry for Vaizey - Osborne has just cooked up the most dishonest, least defensible document ever produced by HM Treasury. So dodgy that George Osborne stopped the Treasury from releasing it until he was safely away from the Radio 4 Today programme's studio. And Vaizey took it all in pretty good spirit: "I"m just trying to talk my way out of this," he cheerily admitted at one point, mid-waffle. You can see why the Chancellor doesn't yet feel confident enough to be grilled by Andrew Neil.

UPDATE Unkind souls on Twitter are comparing Vaizey's performance to this scene from The Thick Of It

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from London and beyond. Email tips to steerpike@spectator.co.uk.

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