Did Cullen leave a similar one?

In the UK Labour has been embarrassed by a note left by the outgoing Treasury chief secretary Liam Byrne gloating there was no money left. Michael Cullen may as well have penned his own note given the parlous state of the books when Labour left office here…instead National gave him a job and a knighthood.

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The Coalition turned the screw on Labour over spending last night, releasing the infamous letter admitting there was ‘no money’ left at the 2010 election.  

Cabinet Office minister David Laws made public the glib note, left by outgoing Treasury chief secretary Liam Byrne for his successor.

It states: ‘Dear Chief Secretary, I’m afraid there is no money. Kind regards – and good luck! Liam.’

The letter has haunted Labour, allowing Tory and Liberal Democrat ministers to prove the nation’s  coffers were empty.

On the eve of the latest round of spending cuts, the letter from former Treasury minister Liam Byrne has been pictured for the first time.

Consisting of just 18 words it offers no apology or justification for the state of the nation’s finances, only a glib ‘good luck’ to whoever was left to clear up the economic mess.

The letter, written in blue ink on government note paper, was opened by Lib Dem David Laws who became Chief Secretary to the Treasury when the coalition was formed.

Mr Laws mentioned its existence within days of taking office, claiming he assumed the envelope would offer advice on how to conduct himself in government.

But he refused to bow to calls from former Tory spin doctor Andy Coulson to release the actual letter publicly.

As he made the letter public for the first time, Mr Laws claimed he had not deliberately intended for it to be made public three years ago.

Lib Dem Mr Laws said: ‘I didn’t set out to embarrass Liam, but he left a note which frankly does sum up precisely the state of the Treasury when he left it.

‘I think it is refreshing that a Labour politician has been prepared to admit that.’


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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