David Laws has told ITV News West Country he had not meant to cause any embarrassment to his Labour predecessor at the Treasury, Liam Byrne, when he publicly mentioned the note left for him.
Mr Laws said: "I didn't set out particularly to embarrass Liam, but he'd left a note which frankly does sum up precisely the state of the Treasury when he left it - which was completely empty of money."
More top news
Intruders killed an eight-week-old puppy during a failed attempt to steal from a house in East Lothian, police have said.
It will be a cold day today, with temperatures dipping below freezing shortly after dark.
Two police officers stepped in to help deliver a newborn on Christmas Day in a dramatic intervention caught on camera.