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gordon brown tantrums 6

6. Not telling Tony Blair about the details of his budget

Tom Bower, in his biography of Gordon Brown, wrote about the process behind the 2003 budget: “Two days before his [Gordon Brown’s budget] speech, Tony Blair invited the chancellor to outline his proposed budget. The routine had become familiar. Every year, Blair’s staff would furtively seek information from Treasury officials about the budget. Sometimes they were fortunate and an informant, disobeying the chancellor, would reveal a nugget. On other occasions Brown had worked on his personal laptop to prevent any leak to the prime minister. There was no precedent for such conduct in Britain’s entire history. On this occasion, the chancellor arrived with a senior official. The atmosphere was frosty…To each question Blair asked about the budget he remained impassive until he either nodded to the official to disclose the details, or shook his head. Little was said. Thankfully the prime minister, pre-occupied by the war, did not seek a confrontation.”

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