Left Watch

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If you thought Alan Johnson was a weak Shadow Chancellor, you should meet his deputy...

By Jonathan Isaby

Picture 7 Alan Johnson admitted that he would need a "primer of economics for beginners" the day he was appointed Shadow Chancellor by Ed Miliband and his weakness in that role was exposed on Wednesday afternoon in his reply to the Spending Review (and George Osborne's response to him at the Despatch Box makes pretty devastating reading).

So having installed a novice as Shadow Chancellor, you'd think Miliband might have wanted to ensure that there was at least someone with a bit of economic nous as number two in the Labour Treasury team.

But no, the Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury is Angela Eagle. She is the politician I christened on the day of her appointment as an "economic Nostradamus" for having criticised those worrying about the risk of recession in 2008 by saying in the Commons: "Fortunately for all of us... that colourful and lurid fiction has no real bearing on the macro-economic reality".

Fast forward to Wednesday evening, ten hours after the Spending Review was delivered, and she was put up by the Opposition to face Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight. Watch her performance below and judge for yourselves the quality of Labour's Treasury team...