The chancellor’s post-Brexit spending announcement has been brought forward to “early September”, the Treasury has said.
Sajid Javid has also cancelled a major speech on Wednesday on the state of the economy.
A notice put out by his department said the forthcoming spending round – a long-term budget usually calculated roughly every five years that caps how much Whitehall departments can spend of taxpayers’ money – would happen within weeks.
They are often used to demonstrate a government’s biggest priorities, and are different from the annual spending announcement which allocates money to specific projects within a Whitehall department’s spending limit.
John McDonnell, Labour’s shadow chancellor, said: “Sajid Javid is getting a record of announcing events and initiatives, and then within hours cancelling or reversing them.
“This doesn’t inspire confidence. Panic seems to be setting in inside government.”
Sky News’ economics editor Ed Conway said the move prompted “some speculation that it may have something to do with election planning”. He added: “It is strange to have this cancelled at the last minute.”
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