Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Osborne - is he really the weakest link?

Just when you thought George Osborne had been exposed as David Cameron's weakest link by nominating three defence projects as ripe for cutting he bounces right back into the ring this morning with leaked Treasury documents showing across the board plans for Labour cuts.

When Gordon Brown made vague commitments to defending public services at the TUC yesterday and George Osborne suggested that the super carrier contracts at Rosyth and the Clyde could be broken Labour thought their strategy was working.

The Labour high command think that Osborne is brittle and gaffe prone and he is set to be singled out for a sustained attack in the run-up to the General Election, The Herald has been told. (See Michael Settle's story here.)

But Osborne is nothing if not mercurial. After annoying his own spin doctors with his naivety yesterday he comes back with that opposition coup - leaked government documents showing nearly 10% cuts across the board.

Broadly this is what the institute of Fiscal Studies has been saying about Treasury spending plans but not what Mr Brown has been telling the Commons, Mr Osborne points out. We'll see how the day plays out but it looks like Mr Osborne has turned the tables and skewered the Prime Minister on cuts.

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