Does Osborne know something we don’t?
You might think reading George Osborne’s words suggesting Labour ministers instigated the Libor fixing or were complicit in some way, that the Chancellor is sitting on some juicy evidence. Perhaps he’s learnt something from a long-serving Treasury hand who knows where the bodies are buried? Not so, I am told.
George Osborne gave his interview to The Spectator in the immediate aftermath of the Diamond/Tucker phone note being published and that, I am told, was what he was basing the assertion on. Those close to the Chancellor clearly think that some of the characters and pressures involved in the Brown government at the time of the 2008 banking crisis make it impossible to believe certain people didn’t apply pressure.
They don’t suspect Alistair Darling (though they should, from their own point of view, as I mentioned yesterday, note that the SNP is trying to link him and damage his credentials as leader of the “no campaign”). They don’t suspect Lord Myners. They strongly suspect Baroness Vadera, despite her denial on Radio 4′s World at One yesterday. And they see a golden opportunity to stick it to Ed Balls, which isn’t quite the same thing.
Some Tories are getting a bit squeamish about this and saying it’s not how holders of one of the highest offices should behave. It certainly doesn’t make it any easier to get the consensus on an inquiry that the PM said he was looking for.
More later on this as the debate kicks off and we wait to see Ed M’s “cunning plan” when the Coalition wins the vote.
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