At last month’s Westminster Correspondents’ dinner, George Osborne made light of his behaviour during his budget U-turn. Joshing about his decision to send his Financial Secretary David Gauke to field questions from angry MPs:
‘A big speech in parliament, the pressure is on, you lot are baying for blood. My answer? Uncork the Gauke.’
So, it ought to come as little surprise to Osborne that MPs were weary to his ways when he appeared to use the same old strategy to avoid awkward questions on Monday about the latest Treasury EU report. With Osborne absent from proceedings, it fell on Gauke to answer the question — much to John Bercow’s amusement:
‘In fairness to the honourable gentleman he is at least here. which is more than can be said for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to which the question was directed. It appears that as has happened on many questions, the Chancellor has decided to uncork the Gauke.’
In future, Mr S advises Osborne to refrain from revealing his methods for getting out of trouble if he hopes to get off scot-free.