RISHI Sunak got a row from the deputy speaker before his Budget speech today.

His department’s pre-Budget briefings to the media drew fury from all sides of the house this week.

The Speaker has repeatedly told the Government that policy announcements have to be shared with parliament first - not whichever London lobby journalist has the best expenses account.

Yesterday, he said how angry he was. Today, his deputy said how disappointed she was.

Those sitting on the Government front bench nodded at all the right bits and committed to doing absolutely nothing differently next time around.

When Rishi Sunak got to his feet to reveal the spending plans that Twitter had been talking about for the best part of a week, something looked different in the Chamber.

At long last, some Tory MPs were wearing masks. Maybe they were finally taking the coronavirus case numbers seriously. Maybe they were worried by the recent spate of MPs – including Keir Starmer – testing positive for the virus. Maybe they realised that they have to lead by example.

Or maybe they just wanted to cover their faces, knowing what to come.

The National:

It was enough to make even the most brazen Conservative MP blush. Rishi Sunak, with all the sincerity of a second-hand car salesman, said that only the Conservatives could be trusted with taxpayers’ money.

His bold claim comes in a week where one of his party’s own backbenchers was banished from the House for 30 days, after it was found that he had engaged in an "egregious case of paid advocacy".

It comes after months of sleaze and scandal, where the Tories showed that there is no crisis too grave to exploit to the benefit of their pals and donors.

READ MORE: Budget: Rishi Sunak cuts flight taxes to 'strengthen the Union' ... days before COP26

And it comes after years of cuts to public services, where the poor have been punished for the excesses of the rich.

Continuing his speech, Sunak chirpily informed the chamber that the first 1001 days of a child’s life are the most important.

You might have felt a twinge of excitement at this point. Was he going to reverse the £20 cut to Universal Credit – a cut that poverty charities warn will plunge tens of thousands of children into poverty and see some even taken into care? Would he end the pernicious two-child cap and the repugnant "rape clause" that stems from it?

No, of course not. He announced a paltry £300m Start for Life programme and accepted the plummy cries of "HEA HEA!" before moving on.

That’s not to say that there wasn’t big money spent elsewhere - there was. So much, in fact, that you began to wonder if that fabled magic money tree does actually exist after all.

Despite being flash with (our) cash in some areas, the Chancellor’s evident self-satisfaction felt a bit disingenuous. If your granny never gave you a birthday present your whole life but then sent you £20 for your 39th, you wouldn’t suddenly see her as a generous benefactor. And if she regularly raided your piggybank during those years, you would be even less inclined to feel grateful.

READ MORE: The Budget: Here's what the UK is controversially funding in Scotland

As shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves (below) pointed out, Rishi Sunak repeatedly compared the cash he announced today with what had been spent over the past decade. Remind me, which party was in charge during that time?

On Scotland, Sunak announced the "largest ever block grant" for the devolved governments. "One family, one United Kingdom" he trilled, rather unconvincingly. He pledged an "infrastructure revolution" and lots and lots of "levelling-up".

The National:

His surprise announcement was a cut to the Universal Credit taper rate, from 63p to 55p, which he says will benefit two million working families to the tune of an extra £1000 per year. Four million families are affected by the £20 a week cut to universal credit though, so, despite the breathless praise from some commentators, we’re not into the land of milk and honey quite yet.

As ever, the devil will be in the detail. On the headline policy announcements we heard today, this looked and sounded like a pre-election budget.

It would certainly be in Boris Johnson’s interests to go early. He was the original style-over-substance candidate. After that performance, Slick Sunak may well be his party’s preferred option for the next.