Dear, Dear, Darling

Piss ups and breweries come to mind somehow:

A series of high street banks denied asking the Chancellor to hold off before telling Parliament of the lost child benefit records.

Mr Darling insisted again yesterday that the banks had asked for more time before the announcement to get ready for inquiries from thousands of customers.

That followed his statement to MPs on Monday, in which he claimed that the banks were "adamant" that they wanted "as much time as possible".

The British Banking Association said: "The BBA did not ask for any more time. As soon as we were made aware of the security breach, banks put in place security measures to secure customer accounts.

"None of our members asked for any extra time. Clearly, everyone involved would have liked as much time as possible but banks unanimously agreed to go ahead without delay."

Now given that Darling made that statement about time being asked for to the Commons, and it now appears not to be the unvarnished truth, does that mean he\’s lied to the House and thus must go? There\’s also this:

It also emerged that the banks and Government officials have fallen out over who will compensate any defrauded customers.

The Treasury wants the banks to pay. The banks are happy to do this as long as there are guarantees that they will be refunded.

That they haven\’t, even when it was their own error, made such a guarantee is amazing.

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