Inside Westminster

The key piece of advice Rachel Reeves needs to take from Alistair Darling

The late former chancellor of the Exchequer helped steer the country through one of its worst financial crises, writes Andrew Grice. Labour could stand to learn a lot from him

Friday 01 December 2023 22:40 GMT
<p>Like Darling, Rachel Reeves would have to run the Treasury in hard times</p>

Like Darling, Rachel Reeves would have to run the Treasury in hard times

Standing in my kitchen, Alistair Darling told me why he had to bail out the banks during the 2008 financial crisis: they were two hours away from running out of money and switching off their cashpoint machines.

I was stunned. A couple of days after our boozy dinner with our wives, I asked the former chancellor for an interview. He agreed and confirmed his revelation.

"I could hardly say no to you, could I?" he told me later, referring to the dinner, admitting his publisher "wasn’t best pleased" because this was going to be a key disclosure in his forthcoming memoirs.

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