Mandelson slams Osborne over ‘deliberate untruth’

Author: By Gavin Cordon, Press Association

Yesterday, Mr Osborne accused Prime Minister Gordon Brown of deliberately
denying him access to information about the public finances which the Tories
needed in order to prepare their own spending plans.

However, in a statement today, Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said Mr
Osborne’s claim had been rejected by Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O’Donnell.

He challenged him to withdraw the charge before Tory leader David Cameron’s
weekly clash with Mr Brown at Prime Minister’s Questions later today.

“There is a very unattractive pattern of behaviour that is starting to emerge
with George Osborne, of innuendo in pursuit of a smear,” Lord Mandelson said.

“Yesterday, George Osborne issued a very serious allegation that the Prime
Minister had intervened to deny the opposition of information they were
entitled to. This claim has been flatly denied by the Cabinet Secretary.

“I suggest George Osborne withdraws this deliberate untruth to avoid
embarrassing his leader at Prime Minister’s Questions today.”

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