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Battle begins: inside Rishi Sunak’s plan to take on Labour

Prepare for a presidential campaign

7 October 2023

9:00 AM

7 October 2023

9:00 AM

When David Laws moved in as chief secretary to the Treasury in 2010, he found a note from his predecessor Liam Byrne saying: ‘I’m afraid there is no money.’ It was the most famous parting gift in British political history. What was meant as a joke (Byrne had thought his friend Philip Hammond would get the job) quickly became the coalition government’s most effective weapon against the opposition: proof that Labour could not be trusted with the public finances.

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