Sir Lindsay Hoyle blasts Rishi Sunak over pre-Budget announcements

Sir Lindsay Hoyle blasts ‘discourteous’ Rishi Sunak for releasing parts of his Budget ahead of time and without telling Parliament first as MPs accuse ministers of ‘treating parliamentary democracy with utter contempt’

  • Treasury has made a series of policy announcements ahead of Budget tomorrow
  • Lindsay Hoyle, Commons Speaker, said announcements should be to MPs first
  • Sir Lindsay has accused the Government of treating Parliament ‘discourteously’ 

Sir Lindsay Hoyle today stepped up his war of words with the Government as he blasted Rishi Sunak for making pre-Budget policy announcements. 

The Chancellor will deliver his Budget tomorrow but the Treasury has set out numerous policies ahead of the financial statement. 

That approach has prompted repeated rebukes from Sir Lindsay who is adamant all policy announcements should be made to MPs first. 

Sir Lindsay criticised ministers over the approach yesterday and did the same again this afternoon after more details were pre-briefed. 

The Commons Speaker accused Mr Sunak and the Treasury of treating Parliament in a ‘discourteous manner’ as he vowed to do everything in his power to ensure ministers answer MPs’ questions. 

Meanwhile, MPs on both sides of the chamber expressed their anger at the Government’s communications strategy, accusing ministers of ‘treating parliamentary democracy with utter contempt’. 

Sir Lindsay Hoyle today stepped up his war of words with the Government as he blasted Rishi Sunak for making pre-Budget policy announcements.

The Chancellor will deliver his Budget tomorrow but the Treasury has set out numerous policies ahead of the financial statement


In pictures released by No111 today Rishi Sunak was pictured in one of his trademark grey sweatshirt, as well as American-style footwear that comes with a hefty £95 price tag

Mr Sunak joked that his dog Nova had not been very excited by the proposals he will unveil tomorrow 

The Government has already announced spending worth more than £30billion which Rishi Sunak will confirm at the Budget on Wednesday. 

Below is a breakdown of some of the most notable funding pledges: 

– The national minimum wage will increase from £8.91 to £9.50 from April next year. 

– An extra £6billion will be given to the NHS to pay for new equipment and new facilities to clear the Covid backlog.

– Brownfield sites covering the equivalent of 2,000 football pitches could be turned into plots for housing as part of a £1.8billion injection.

– A £2.6billion pot of funding will be set up to help children with special educational needs and disabilities. 

– Levelling up transport outside of London will benefit to the tune of nearly £7billion, paying for a range of projects, including tram improvements. 

– The Department of Health and Social Care will receive £5billion over the next three years to fund research and development in areas such as genome sequencing and tackling health inequalities. 

– A cash injection of £3billion will be given to both post-16 education but also to adults later in life. 

– £850million will be spent over three years to ‘breathe life’ back into cultural hotspots like London’s V&A museum, Tate Liverpool and the Imperial War Museum in Duxford.   

– Ageing Border Force vessels will be replaced by new cutters as part of a £700million investment to improve the safety of Britain’s borders. 

Sir Lindsay granted a second urgent question in two days to force Treasury ministers to appear in the Commons to answer questions on the forthcoming fiscal event.

He said the ministerial code states important announcements of Government policy should be made to Parliament first when it is in session.   

Sir Lindsay told the Commons: ‘I was disappointed to see more stories in the media today with apparently very well-briefed information about what will be in tomorrow’s Budget.’

He accused the Government of treating the Commons in a ‘discourteous manner’, adding: ‘This House will not be taken for granted, it’s not right for everybody to be briefed, it’s not more important to go on the news in the morning, it’s more important to come here.’

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Simon Clarke defended the Government as he argued part of the objective in ‘trailing specific aspects of the Budget in advance is to help communicate to the public what we’re doing with their hard-earned money’.  

Responding to a pre-Budget urgent question from Labour, he said: ‘The ability of Parliament to scrutinise the Government, including the Budget, is clearly crucial which is why we’ve got five days of parliamentary debate ahead of us this week and next and why the the Chancellor will be appearing in addition in front of two select committees of this House next week.’ 

He said the ‘bulk of the detail of the Budget’ will be set out by Mr Sunak in the Commons tomorrow.   

He added: ‘Part of the Government’s objective in trailing specific aspects of the Budget in advance is to help communicate to the public what we’re doing with their hard-earned money because we believe there is merit in clear and accurate information.’

Mr Clarke faced criticism from both Labour and Tory MPs. 

Conservative Julian Lewis asked the minister: ‘Why is it important, right or necessary to share Budget information with the media before it is shared with this House where it can be subjected to proper scrutiny? And will he give an undertaking on behalf of the Treasury team to stop doing it?’

Labour’s Angela Eagle added: ‘This is treating parliamentary democracy with utter contempt, and the minister should be completely ashamed of himself, he should have come to this House and apologised, his boss should have come to this House and apologised.’

Sir Lindsay has repeatedly tackled ministers on their habit of making political announcements at press conferences and in briefings to the press.

In January he hit out at Boris Johnson again for setting out his lockdown decision at a press conference instead of to MPs.

The Commons Speaker told the Commons the Prime Minister ‘should be here, I’m sorry if his dinner would have been affected’ after Mr Johnson announced an extension of coronavirus measures to the media.

He accused the PM of ‘running roughshod’ over Parliament, and said Number 10’s treatment of Parliament has been ‘totally unacceptable’ as he again stressed that announcements should first be made at the despatch box.

Source: Read Full Article