George Osborne claimed last week that members of Gordon Brown’s inner circle were “clearly involved” in pressuring banks to manipulate LIBOR. Today, Paul Tucker – Deputy Governor of the Bank of England – was at the Treasury Select Committee. According to James Kirkup in the Telegraph, the conversation went like this:
He was asked if any Labour minister or adviser had tried to “lean on” him in 2008 over Libor rates.
He replied: “Absolutely not”
Shriti Vadera, Gordon Brown’s close aide and minister?
“Absolutely not. I don’t think I spoke to Shriti Vadera through this process.”
Any other Labour minister?
Sometimes in politics you need to know when you’re beaten, and admit when you were wrong. Osborne has told a blatant untruth about Labour politicians.
Apologise George, do it publicly, and do it now…
Update: It seems Osborne isn’t the only person who should be apologising. Tory HQ circulated a briefing on July 4th entitled “Bob Diamond evidence points finger at Gordon Brown, Ed Balls and Shriti Vadera as the ‘senior figures’ trying to fiddle LIBOR.”
Wrong – it now seems.
The person who circulated this? The Twitter-living Tory Press officer Richard Holden.
Someone else who should be getting their best stationary out and lining up an apology is former Osborne aide and now backbench MP Matt Hancock, who took his obsession with Ed Balls to new heights when he said:
“It is now shockingly clear that senior figures in the Labour Government were involved in the question of what happened to Libor rates.”
Also wrong – it now seems.
Will any of these people have the good grace to apologise to Ed Balls et al?