Sir Alan Budd regrets leak

SIR Alan Budd, the former head of the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), yesterday admitted he regretted the impact of a leak that dogged his short tenure at the independent fiscal forecaster.

“I enormously regret the effect it had on our reputation… That was in some sense the most harmful event in terms of the press coverage,”?Sir Alan admitted, in reference to his decision to rush out official figures to counter an inaccurate leak.

The timing allowed David Cameron to use the figures as ammunition in a tetchy exchange of Prime Minister’s questions, leading to questions over the OBR’s impartiality.

Sir Alan, who stood down from the OBR last week, also admitted there was a possibility of a double dip recession, but said it was unlikely. “You cannot rule it out... but the most likely outcome is that the economy will continue to grow,” he said.