Letters: A great deal of foot-in-mouth activity preceded the Hammond U-turn

Philip Hammond and Theresa May 
Philip Hammond and Theresa May listen to John McDonnell, the shadow Chancellor, speaking in the Commons on Wednesday Credit: PA

SIR – There is kudos in admitting a mistake and backing down, as Philip Hammond has done. It means the Government has listened to the people and responded accordingly. It’s what we want politicians to do. Well done.

What I do question is the extent to which such decisions are discussed internally before being presented to the public. Was no dry run done to a panel for an opinion? Was no risk analyst consulted: “What is the risk to our reputation if we present this?”

The public outrage should have been anticipated and a great deal of time and money saved. It was also reputationally very costly.

There seems to be a great deal of foot-in-mouth activity at present, and I would expect more consultation before launching “great ideas” on to the public.

Liz Laing
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire


SIR – I feel sorry for Mr Hammond, for a number of specific reasons. The Budget was discussed in Cabinet...


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