The announcement that 1,500 jobs were being cut in the UK came as Gordon Brown had been on his feet for eleven minutes.
But the firm, which had earlier been caught up in a political row over help given to Labour with its public finance initiative policy, denied trying to bury the news.
‘That was never our intention,’ an Andersen spokesman said. ‘If anything, we were too upfront.’
The spokesman confirmed that partners had been told of the impending cuts earlier in the day and staff had been informed during the afternoon of the Budget.
As well as the 30% cut to staff, it is believed that up to 70 partners could lose their jobs. The cuts will mostly hit Andersen’s London office, but other offices will also suffer.
Two weeks ago, the firm announced it had broken off its engagement with KPMG and would instead be merging with Deloitte & Touche in the UK.
In Europe, the firm said its Dutch, Swedish and Danish practices would also be merging with Deloitte, but its Luxembourg office would be moving to Ernst & Young.
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