Rishi Sunak was reprimanded by the Deputy Speaker of House of Commons for not releasing his financial statement before the Budget.
Eleanor Laing, fuming at the Chancellor, stated to him that ‘important policy announcements should first be made to Parliament’.
She also joked that “we are all very much looking ahead to hearing the rest of your announcements”.
Mr Sunak insisted that he had ‘listened very carefully’ to the criticism as he stressed he has the ‘greatest respect’ for Ms Laing and the Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle.
Sir Lindsay has repeatedly criticized the Treasury for a variety of policies that were published in the media during the days leading to today’s fiscal event.
Eleanor Laing, fuming at the Chancellor, stated to him that ‘important policy announcements should first be made to Parliament’
Mr Sunak maintained that he had listened to all criticisms and insisted that the Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle has his utmost respect for Ms Laing.
Ms. Laing gave a statement before Mr Sunak addressed the Commons to present his Budget.
She stated that she had to say a few words before I call the Chancellor to make his Budget statement.
‘As chairman of ways and means… I have responsibility for the House’s proceedings on the Budget.
‘I share the concern of many members of this House about the apparent pre-briefing of Budget material to the media before any announcements have been made in this House.
‘I understand the Chancellor’s position and it is well understood that for a number of years elements of the Budget have been pre-briefed to the media in an embargoed basis to aid their coverage of it.
‘But such pre-briefing where the embargo makes clear that the material can be used only after the Chancellor has addressed this House is rather different to what we have apparently experienced this year.
‘That is the briefing to the media of details of the Budget statement to be published before the statement is delivered.
‘As Mr Speaker has said, and all ministers know, important policy announcements should be made first to Parliament.’
Ms Laing said it is her ‘firm hope’ that ‘we do not find ourselves in this position again’ at future Budgets.
She added: ‘But Chancellor, we are all very much looking forward to hearing the remainder of your announcements which you are about to make to us.’
Mr Sunak replied: ‘I have heard your words and those of Mr Speaker. I have the greatest respect for you both and I want to assure you that I have listened very carefully to what you have said.’
Sir Lindsay yesterday 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.
MPs from both sides of the chamber vented their dismay at the Government’s communications strategy and accused ministers of treating parliamentary democracy with utter contempt.
It is the latest standoff between ministers and the Commons Speaker. After being given a blunt telling off, Boris Johnson made major Covid decisions in June to make to Parliament and to the nation via television.