Tory MPs unnerved by Osborne’s “disproportionate obsession” with Balls

Several Conservative MPs have expressed serious concerns at George Osborne's apparent “disproportionate obsession” with Ed Balls.

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As the dust settles on yesterday’s raucous, oft undignified bar room brawl-esque scenes in the Commons chamber during the banking inquiry debate, several Conservative MPs have expressed serious concerns at George Osborne’s “disproportionate obsession” with his opposite number.

Earlier this week, the chancellor, in an explosive interview with the Spectator, accused Ed Balls of complicity in the Libor scandal, saying he has “questions to answer”. Yesterday, Osborne said the shadow chancellor had “smeared his way through 13 years of Labour government”. Now, though, it is him in the firing line – from his own side as well as Labour.

George-Osborne-Ed-Balls-banking-inquiry-debate-05-07-12
Today’s Times reports (£):

One Tory said Mr Osborne’s obsession with Mr Balls and ‘Whitehall sources’ was a ‘red herring.’’ They added: “There was no smoking gun.”

Another worried about his priorities: “People want us to sort out the effing banks, not worry about what Ed Balls might have said four years ago.”

Another suggested Mr Osborne should spend more time in the Treasury: “When are we going to get a chancellor who is not part time? You can’t run the sixth largest economy in the world with a mate-ocracy.”

Andrea Leadsom, a member of the Commons Treasury select committee, said the name-calling was “a great shame”. She added: “I don’t think it’s helpful.”

Bernard Jenkin, chair of the Public Administration Select Committee, said: “I have to say to both front benches, this has not been the House of Commons’ finest hour.”

In the Telegraph, Fraser Nelson calls the battle between Balls and Osborne as “a fight to the death… the question of who is to blame for the Libor interest-rate scandal will be front and centre at the next general election”.

 


See also:

Calls grow for an independent banking inquiry, after MPs give Diamond easy ride 5 Jul 2012

Inside the world of the bankers… This is why we need a full inquiry 4 Jul 2012

Leslie: ‘Frenzied Osborne throwing around false allegations and demeaning his office’ 4 Jul 2012

Miliband attacks “slow to act, bankrolled by the banks” Cameron at PMQs 4 Jul 2012

Balls: ‘I’d be very happy to appear at an inquiry… Why are ministers so worried by one?’ 4 Jul 2012


 

Reflecting on yesterday’s debate, meanwhile, the Telegraph’s Michael Deacon describes how a “venomous, slithering” chancellor “ambushed his prey”; the Guardian’s Caroline Davies compares it to Ali v Frazier, “for sheer pugilistic spectacle, for mutual enmity and for knuckle-bruising brutality”; and the Indy’s Simon Carr likens it to “medieval football… whole villages turning out to fight over a ball, losing the ball and just fighting”.

Osborne may have won yesterday’s Commons vote, but, if he isn’t careful, may end up losing his credibility, competence, and the next election.

 


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45 Responses to “Tory MPs unnerved by Osborne’s “disproportionate obsession” with Balls”

  1. Political Planet

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  2. fljf

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  3. Craig Owen

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  4. leftlinks

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  5. Mr Ranty

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  6. Terry Connolly

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  7. Katherine Smith

    Left Foot Forward – Tory MPs unnerved by Osborne’s “disproportionate obsession” with Balls http://t.co/FGoEfVsP

  8. Ratcatcher

    Tory MPs unnerved by Osborne's “disproportionate obsession” with Balls: http://t.co/eiD3yWfH by @ShamikDas #Libor

  9. Shamik Das

    Tory MPs unnerved by Osborne's “disproportionate obsession” with Balls: http://t.co/eiD3yWfH by @ShamikDas #Libor

  10. BevR

    RT @leftfootfwd: Tory MPs unnerved by Osborne's “disproportionate obsession” with Balls http://t.co/rcJxmBHt

  11. Michael Bater

    Osborne may have won yesterday’s Commons vote, but, if he isn’t careful, may end up losing his credibility, competence, and the next election. He lost those along time ago!

  12. NE36 COMMENTATORTWTR

    Tory MPs unnerved by Osborne's “disproportionate obsession” with Balls: http://t.co/eiD3yWfH by @ShamikDas #Libor

  13. Ananizapta

    Tory MPs unnerved by Osborne's “disproportionate obsession” with Balls: http://t.co/eiD3yWfH by @ShamikDas #Libor

  14. Simon Lewis

    Tory MPs unnerved by Osborne's “disproportionate obsession” with Balls | Left Foot Forward http://t.co/gjBfuQHH

  15. Dan

    Best. Headline. Ever. http://t.co/ToIlWDaY

  16. ElecTricKMooseMother

    RT “@Kmmndn: Best. Headline. Ever. http://t.co/5UtRIWf8” HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA!!! Superb!

  17. Giles Bradshaw

    There’s a bit of a game being played here I think. The Libor scandal is largely from the Labour years and it is quite clear that ex Labour ministers have some very serious questions to answer about it. At the very least this is an example of the total failure to regulate properly by the Labour Govt which has been a major factor contributing to our current financial woes.

  18. TonguelessGhostofSin

    *sigh* Labour’s fault ad nauseum. We all know the person who put this deregulation in place was the old crone herself. New Labour simply copied her template. So as usual, the Tories blame Labour for cocking up….by copying their ideas

  19. Joel Haaglund

    "Tory MPs unnerved by Osborne’s“ disproportionate obsession” with Balls" http://t.co/wXdxziDM via @leilashark

  20. JC

    If governments are as powerless as you suggest and are unable to change anything a previous government did, then it’s rather challenging to suggest that blame can be put at a previous government.

  21. Janet Graham

    Frm earlier >>> Tory MPs unnerved by Osborne's “disproportionate obsession” with Balls: http://t.co/eiD3yWfH by @ShamikDas #Libor

  22. Anonymous

    The next election’s is Labour’s to lose, if they alienate too many.
    Sadly…

  23. Anonymous

    Except he didn’t say that.

  24. Rkelly61

    Government’s attack those that they are most afraid of. They are cocking things up and Ed Balls is articulate and more credible than Osborne. Derision and mud-slinging worked against Brown Osborne is hoping he can do the same again but he is incompetent even at that. A sneering, supercillious attitude doesn’t necessarily endear him to the public.

    According to the BBC, has had to privately withdraw his accusations – another U-turn on a poorly thought out strategy.

  25. Selohesra

    Briiliant – “according to the BBC” – must be true & impartial then

  26. Shibs

    Excellent article by @ShamikDas http://t.co/69n0NtFL on yesterday's 'dies horribilis' for Osborne.

  27. Miljenko Williams

    Excellent article by @ShamikDas http://t.co/69n0NtFL on yesterday's 'dies horribilis' for Osborne.

  28. Joe Andrews

    RT @leftfootfwd: Tory MPs unnerved by Osborne's “disproportionate obsession” with Balls http://t.co/WJEa1gDC

  29. MB

    He’s either scared of Balls or he fancies him. That’s public schoolboys for you.

  30. Magapanthus Smith

    Tory MPs unnerved by Osborne's “disproportionate obsession” with Balls: http://t.co/eiD3yWfH by @ShamikDas #Libor

  31. Bob Ellard

    Tory MPs unnerved by Osborne's “disproportionate obsession” with Balls: http://t.co/eiD3yWfH by @ShamikDas #Libor

  32. knobby boocock

    Tory MPs unnerved by Osborne's “disproportionate obsession” with Balls: http://t.co/eiD3yWfH by @ShamikDas #Libor

  33. thats him!!

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  34. diana smith

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  35. Alex Braithwaite

    RT @leftfootfwd: Tory MPs unnerved by Osborne's “disproportionate obsession” with Balls http://t.co/bKnEghui

  36. gareth evans

    Tory MPs unnerved by Osborne's “disproportionate obsession” with Balls: http://t.co/eiD3yWfH by @ShamikDas #Libor

  37. Shamik Das

    Excellent article by @ShamikDas http://t.co/69n0NtFL on yesterday's 'dies horribilis' for Osborne.

  38. Anonymous

    Game? Yes, you’re trying to game away the fact that the Tories called for less regulation.

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