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19 April 2010

Is Alistair Darling Brown’s secret weapon?

Chancellor launches powerful attack on Osborne’s plans.

By James Macintyre

Speaking at a Labour news conference alongside Peter Mandelson and Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling has just made a presentation emphasising the cuts planned by the Tories.

Condemning the Tories for relegating the Budget deficit from their priorities and for opting to take £6bn out of the economy instead by opposing the planned National Insurance rise, Darling went on to say that had he proposed the sorts of tax cuts — including for married couples — planned by George Osborne, he would “quite rightly” have been told he was not credible. Osborne, he said, cannot be believed.

Darling has come a long way from being undermined from within over the past two years. Now, he is deployed by Labour as one of the most credible attackers on the central question of this election: the economy.

UPDATE: Brown is repeatedly deferring questions — incuding tough ones on the Lib Dem surge and whether Vince Cable would make a good chancellor — to Darling.

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