Jeremy Corbyn attacks David Cameron over George Osborne's failure to appear at Budget debate

Mr Corbyn previously said that Mr Osborne should 'follow former Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith’s example and resign'

Jeremy Corbyn has attacked David Cameron over George Osborne's failure to appear to answer an urgent question about the Budget. 

Thanking the Prime Minister for an "advance sight of about half of his statement", Mr Corbyn first addressed the EU summit deal and said the UK has a "duty to play a part" in the response to the “largest humanitarian crisis since the end of the Second World War”.

"There are more displaced people around the world than there have ever been in recorded history,” he said.

He then went on to address the conspicuous absence of George Osborne, noting: “He [Mr Cameron] has come here today; the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions is here today… practically every other cabinet minister is here today… whatever has happened to the Chancellor of the Exchequer?

"Where is he today? Because could he not, instead of covering up for his friend, ask him if he could be kind enough to come along to the house and explain why, for the first time in my memory in Parliament, a Government’s Budget has fallen apart within two days of its delivery.

"Could he tell us why he’s still defending a Budget that has inequality at its core, that has a tax on the disabled and the poorest in this country… and gives tax relief to the richest and the biggest corporations in this country?”

 

Addressing the absence of George Osborne, Mr Cameron said: “He will be in the House tomorrow winding up the Budget debate.

"When it comes to holes in the Budget we could perhaps hear from the Timelords that sit opposite because they left us the biggest black hole there ever was.”

Mr Corbyn said last week that George Osborne should "follow former Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith’s example" and resign following his announcement of new UK spending plans and the furore over PIP cuts, but Downing Street said the Chancellor has the "full confidence" of the Prime Minister.

Responding to Mr Corbyn on the refugee crisis, David Cameron said he “didn’t think it was right” to say that Turkey was an unsafe country for refugees, and said those that didn’t apply for asylum would be returned to the country.

“Of course it sounds very compassionate to say to refugees to ‘keep coming’, but you’re encouraging people to make a perilous journey when so many have lost their lives… I think it’s more compassionate to make sure you have firm borders and proper processes, and support the refugees in the country they are in.”

MPs will vote on the Budget as a whole on Tuesday.

Comments