The House will be aware that yesterday the Evening Standard published the main points of the Budget before the House had been informed of them by the Chancellor.
I have received formal apologies from the editor and the political editor of the Evening Standard. They have also apologised, separately, to the Chairman of Ways and Means. I shall place those communications in the Library. Their error was extremely regrettable, but I am minded not to take that matter further. However, the error would not have occurred had the newspaper not been in possession of prior detailed information about the Budget.
This pre-briefing of Budget proposals is a matter of concern to me, and, I judge, to the House as well. I am therefore writing to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to ask him to set out what happened on this occasion, and whether this is a practice of the Treasury. I will revert to the House as necessary.