Speaker Bercow 'concerned' by Treasury pre-briefing of Budget to the Evening Standard

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has been ordered to explain how details of yesterday’s Budget were leaked to the Evening Standard.

The newspaper  tweeted details of the measures contained within the Budget shortly before Osborne had taken to the floor.

In a Parliamentary dressing down by Speaker John Bercow, Osborne has been asked whether it was Treasury policy to leak details of the Budget in advance.

Addressing the House of Commons, Speaker Bercow said he has received a formal apology from the Evening Standard’s editor and political editor following the controversy.

The newspaper has also apologised to the chairman of the Ways and Means committee.

Speaker Bercow said this morning: “I am minded not to take the matter further. However, the error would not have occurred had the newspaper not been in possession of prior detailed information about the Budget.

“This pre briefing of Budget proposals is a matter of concern to me, and, I judge, to the House as well. I am therefore writing to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to ask him to set out what happened on this occasion, and whether this is a practice of the Treasury. I will revert to the House as necessary.”

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