Professional Standards in the Banking Industry
Business without Debate — Supply and Appropriation (Main Estimates) Bill
Edward Balls (Morley and Outwood, Labour)
It is a pity not only that the right hon. and learned Gentleman was not consulted before the inquiry was announced but that he is not leading for the Government today instead of the part-time Chancellor, as that would probably be a more enlightening debate. Let me repeat exactly what I said in my speech. When the subject—[ Interruption. ] I am going to answer the question, but it does not help if the Treasury Whip shouts from a sedentary position. If he wants to join the Chancellor and withdraw his allegations he can do so.
Let me repeat my answer to the question. When the subject of the public inquiry overlaps with the prospect of criminal charges and trials, it is our judgment that
only a judge, as we have seen in the Leveson inquiry, has the legal skills and credibility to conduct that wider inquiry without crossing the acceptable line. A parliamentary Committee will never be able to do so. The reality is that there will be stalemate—witnesses not answering questions, documents not revealed—and we will not make progress. We adopted the Government’s timetable for the first stage of the inquiry, because we thought they had thought it through, but it turns out that they had not done so.