The Prime Minister has been accused of breaching strict rules on sensitive official statistics by hinting that tomorrow’s GDP figures would bring good news.
At Prime Minister’s Questions today, David Cameron reeled off a list of positive economic indicators, before telling Labour leader Ed Miliband “I can tell you, the good news will keep on coming”.
Labour have since hit back, saying the comment was a “clear reference” to tomorrow’s keenly-awaited GDP figures, which are expected to show the UK economy returning to growth.
The Prime Minister is on a highly-restricted list of ministers and officials who are given 24 hours' notice of the GDP figures, on condition that they do not discuss them more widely.
Mr Cameron’s official spokesman denied that the Prime Minister had been referring to the UK’s gross domestic product when he made the comments in the House of Commons.
“He was basically saying we are on the right track, the Government has the right policies and the economy is healing and rebalancing,” he said.
”If you look at what the Bank of England governor was saying yesterday, he said that there are encouraging signs about the economy…the issue here is was he (the Prime Minister) talking about tomorrow's figures? I'm telling you he wasn't.“
After Mr Miliband mocked the Prime Minister in the Commons over a ”disastrous week“ which had seen the resignation of his chief whip and the unravelling of an energy policy, Mr Cameron retorted that the same week had seen good news on unemployment and inflation, adding: ”The good news will keep coming.“
A senior Labour source said: ”He was clearly referring to the GDP figures. That's clearly in breach of the rules.
“It is not only shambolic but wrong for the Prime Minister to hint at tomorrow's growth figures before they are officially published.
”It is a sign of a desperately weak David Cameron that he has to play fast and loose with the rules on financial information to get him out of a political hole.“