Alan Johnson has seemed assured and capable since taking the job of shadow chancellor – despite joking that he would need to read an economics primer to get up to speed. (In fact none of the last four chancellors have had proper economics backgrounds).
But his maiden voyage this morning was not the most awe-inspiring of occasions, taking place at the KPMG offices just off Fleet Street. There were only 20 or 30 people in the audience, all of which seemed to be either journalists or accountants from the host company.
The biggest question of all was why didn’t Mr Johnson take questions from anyone: rightly or wrongly it made it look as if the MP (who is not exactly an ingenue, having held five cabinet posts) could not be trusted by his handlers to veer off-script. Not the greatest first impression to make.
Here is my ft.com story on his economic strategy and how it differs from his predecessor’s. The photo is not from today; instead he was in front of a blue backdrop with no Labour branding.