Osborne: Treasury leak shows Brown misled MPs

By Liz Stephens

Treasury documents show Gordon Brown misled MPs on the scale of Labour’s planned spending cuts, George Osborne alleged today.

The shadow chancellor said the prime minister’s denial that he was planning large-scale cuts was undermined by leaked papers suggesting the government is preparing for “near ten per cent” cuts in departmental budgets.

Yesterday, the prime minister admitted for the first time that cuts would be needed to save the British economy.

However, Mr Osborne said Mr Brown had known for some time that cuts were imminent because he was “sitting all the time on internal Treasury documents telling him the real truth”.

“These are the internal government projections for spending – and they show that the government has been planning since the Budget a near ten per cent cut in departmental budgets.

“Now we know that Gordon Brown misled the public, misled parliament, was not telling the truth,” said Mr Osborne.

Referring to Mr Brown’s speech to the TUC yesterday, Mr Osborne said the prime minister had “spent months avoiding the truth and being shifty with people”.

“Now today reality has caught up with him,” he added.

Yesterday, the shadow chancellor attacked Labour’s economic policy, accusing the prime minister of “dangerous fantasy”.

Earlier in the week Peter Mandelson delivered biting criticism of the Tories, saying the party was “foaming at the mouth with excitement” at the prospect of cuts.

The row between Labour and the Tories over spending cuts in public services has been escalating in the lead-up to the party conferences.