With Philip Hammond about to dust off the famous red box we thought it was a good time to share some of our favourite facts about the UK budget before this afternoons serious business starts.
- William Gladstone delivered the longest ever Budget speech in 1853 which lasted four hours and forty five minutes.
- The shortest ever Budget delivered by Benjamin Disraeli in 1867 was a whole four hours shorter than Gladstone’s speech.
- Lloyd George’s lost his voice after the first three-and-a-half hours of his 1909 Budget speech and he was allowed a 30 minute break before continuing.
- Winston Churchill favoured a good Brandy as part of his Pre-Budget routine.
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Timing is everything. How many MPs will go the distance and how many will be caught napping?
- Nigel Lawson, Conservative Chancellor for much of the 1980s, was once stopped in his tracks mid-sentence during the Budget speech after his staff put the pages in the wrong order.
Sir Geoffrey Howe, Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1979-1983, named his dog Budget.
Finally, a couple of facts about the famous red briefcase...
William Gladstone’s tatty red briefcase was used from 1860 to 1997, when then Chancellor Gordon Brown finally insisted that a new one be made (the old one was virtually falling apart).
The Chancellor’s red briefcase has contained the actual Budget speech since 1860 (Except of course in 1869 when Mr Hunt left his speech at home!).
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