RISHI SUNAK’S Budget fell a little flat yesterday. He spoke for an hour but we had heard just about everything he had to say because of a series of choreographed leaks in the preceding days.

Mr Sunak appeared penitent as, before he started, he got a thorough telling off from the Deputy Speaker who then pointedly invited him to tell the house “the remainder of your announcements”.

The leaks sought to present forthcoming Government policy in the best possible light. Through careful media management, they managed to hold the news agenda for at least a week, with every new day dawning with a new leak about pay, minimum wage, transport spending…

The leaks also sought to present Mr Sunak – brand Rishi – in the best possible light. He’s now given all of his departmental colleagues additional funding; if they can’t make it work as pay rises and inflation gobble it up, that’s their problem and not his.

Of course, all politics is a game which all politicians are playing, and smoothie Sunak plays it well. Perhaps the Speaker should stop being so precious because in an instant world, who cares if we learn something a day or two ahead of its official release?

However, if the Chancellor of the Exchequer doesn’t respect Parliament enough to abide by its protocols, is it any wonder that the rest of the country holds it in such low esteem?