Boris Johnson: Osborne discusses possibility of comeback
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George Osborne, who campaigned to remain in the EU, sought to tie the current crisis engulfing Prime Minister Liz Truss to the Brexit referendum in 2016. He told Andrew Neil on Channel 4 that the country’s position in the eyes of the “international community” has been sliding ever since Brexit. He claimed the governing Conservative Party was ignoring “the fundamental deterioration in the UK’s economic position in the world”.
Speaking to Mr Neil, Mr Osborne said that politics “has been a mess” since the referendum and claimed the rest of the world was viewing the current crisis through the eyes of Brexit.
He said: “I think that the trouble that all the Tory MPs have and actually the Labour Party – although let’s be honest they are in a very good position right now – is that over the last six years Britain has become downgraded in the view of the international community as an economic entity.
“That is because the institutions are weaker.
“You know there’s been this relentless attacks on the Bank of England, the Treasury orthodoxy, and so on.
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The former chancellor suggested that Britain’s economic state was even worse than the warnings from Remainers and economic analysts.
He continued “The politics has been a mess, you know with repeated changes of Prime Minister, four chancellors in four months.
“Britain’s economic performance since the Brexit referendum has been markedly worse than it was previously set to be and that is how the rest of the world looks at it.”
“So you have this unreality in the British political system.
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“They don’t want to address the fundamental deterioration in the UK’s economic position in the world.”
Viewers ridiculed the remarks, with @jimbobm52 tweeting in response: “The same George Osbourne who went MIA after the result of the 2016 vote?”
This comes as the new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt was forced to insist that Liz Truss was still in charge of her own government this morning.
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Mr Hunt replaced Kwasi Kwarteng on Friday, after the former chancellor was sacked following financial uncertainty in the wake of last month’s mini-budget.
Speaking to the BBC, the Chancellor urged the party to unite behind Ms Truss amid reports that Tory backbenchers have been talking privately about how to remove the Prime Minister.
Earlier in the programme, former minister Crispin Blunt became the first Conservative MP to call publicly for Ms Truss to go.
He told Channel 4: “No, I think the game is up and it’s now a question as to how the succession is managed.
“If there is such a weight of opinion in the parliamentary party that we have to have a change then it will be affected.”
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