The permanent secretary to the Treasury, Sir Nicholas Macpherson, has argued that the 2008 financial crisis was “a banking crisis pure and simple”, contradicting Conservative claims that it was caused by Labour overspending.
His surprising remarks come after Ed Miliband came under pressure on a leader’s question time debate last week that Labour government had overspent, a view strengthened by the now notorious letter left by the former treasury chief secretary Liam Byrne to his successor in 2010 that there was “no money left”.
As the Question Time audience demonstrated, the Tories have been wining the propaganda battle – if only by default. It isn’t as though Ed Miliband’s put much effort into addressing the issue. But then he hasn’t really confronted the banks either.