TREASURY – BANKING SERVICES – 14 March 2002
Dr Julian Lewis: Does the Chancellor [Gordon Brown] accept that the statement that he began reading at 12.30 pm was one of the longest that he has made since he took office other than on Budget day? Does he accept that that means that it must have been a considerable time in the drafting? Does he also accept that he has given a totally inadequate response to the shadow Chancellor on his discourtesy in notifying the House at only seven minutes past 12 that such a statement would take place? Will he give an undertaking not to show such discourtesy to the House in the future? Finally, does he recognise that that was not only a discourtesy to the House and to the Opposition, but that it particularly upset his friends in the Liberal Democrats, whose Treasury spokesman was not even here to hear his statement?