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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

George Osborne 

Assumed office 
5 May 2005
Leader Michael Howard
David Cameron
Preceded by Oliver Letwin

Member of Parliament
for Tatton
Assumed office 
7 June 2001
Preceded by Martin Bell
Majority 11,731 (28.3%)

Born 23 May 1971 (1971-05-23) (age 38)
Paddington, London, England
Birth name Gideon Oliver Osborne
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Frances Osborne (neé Howell)
Children 2
Alma mater Magdalen College, Oxford
Religion Church of England

George Gideon Oliver Osborne (born 23 May 1971) is a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom, and has been the Member of Parliament for Tatton since 2001. He is currently Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer.




Early life

Osborne is the eldest son and heir of Sir Peter Osborne, 17th Baronet, co-founder of the fabric and wallpapers designers, Osborne & Little.[1]

Originally named Gideon, he changed his name to George when he was 13. In an interview in July 2005, Osborne said: "It was my small act of rebellion. I never liked it. When I finally told my mother she said, 'Nor do I'. So I decided to be George after my grandfather, who was a war hero. Life was easier as a George; it was a straightforward name."[2]


Osborne was educated at the private Norland Place School in Holland Park, St Paul's School independent school[3] and Magdalen College at Oxford University, where he received an upper second-class degree in Modern History.[1] At Oxford he edited the university's Isis magazine. [4]

Whilst at Oxford, Osborne was a member of the Bullingdon Club, a private dining club of Oxford University students; it was "infamous for riotous behaviour" and was open only to sons of aristocratic families and the wealthy. Osborne's friends David Cameron and Nat Rothschild were also members of the club. The Conservative Party have sought to distance themselves from the club as it was considered to be damaging to the new party image.[4]

Osborne's first job was to provide data entry services to the National Health Service to record the names of people who had died in London.[5] He also briefly worked for Selfridges. He originally intended to pursue a career as a journalist, but after missing out on a position at a national newspaper, was informed of a vacant job at the Conservative Central Office.[5]

Political career

He joined the Conservative Research Department in 1994 and became head of the Political Section. Between 1995 and 1997 he worked for the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food as special advisor to minister Douglas Hogg (during the BSE crisis) and worked in the Political Office at 10 Downing Street. Between 1997 and 2001 he worked for then Conservative leader William Hague as a speech writer and Political Secretary. In this role he helped prepare Hague for the weekly session of Prime Minister's Questions, often playing the role of Prime Minister Tony Blair. Under the leaderships of Michael Howard and now under David Cameron, he has remained on the Prime Minister's Questions team.

Member of Parliament

Elected as the Member of Parliament for Tatton, Cheshire, in June 2001, he succeeded the Independent MP Martin Bell, who had famously defeated the controversial former Conservative minister Neil Hamilton at the 1997 election. Osborne won with a majority of 8,611, becoming (at that time) the youngest Conservative MP in the House of Commons. At the 2005 election, he was re-elected with an increased majority of 11,731, 51.8% of the vote.

Shadow Cabinet

Osborne speaking at a podium, gesturing with his hands.
George Osborne at Conservative Spring Forum 2006 in Manchester.

In September 2004, Osborne was appointed to the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

Following the 2005 general election, he was promoted to Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer at the young age of 33 by the then-Conservative Party leader Michael Howard. His appointment to such a senior shadow cabinet post at such a young age surprised many Conservative MPs. Howard had in fact initially offered the post to William Hague, who turned it down. Press reports suggest that Howard's second choice for the post was in fact David Cameron, who also rejected the job as he preferred to take on a major public service portfolio (he was made Shadow Education Secretary). Thus Howard turned to Osborne as his third choice for the role.[6][citation needed] His promotion prompted speculation he would run for leadership of the Conservative Party when Howard stepped down, but he ruled himself out within a week.[7] Osborne serving as his campaign manager for David Cameron's leadership campaign, and kept the Shadow Chancellor's post when Cameron became leader later that year.

Osborne's close friendship with Cameron has led to comparisons with the relationship between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown in the Labour Party in the mid-1990s. Responding to this comparison at the LSE in February 2006, Osborne said that there had been "no deal" between him and Cameron and he has repeatedly denied ambitions beyond the Chancellorship.[citation needed] Asked whether or not he would be willing to sack a close colleague such as Osborne, Cameron stated, "With George, the answer is yes. He stayed in my shadow cabinet not because he is a friend, not because we are godfathers to each other's children but because he is the right person to do the job. I know and he knows that if that was not the case he would not be there."[8]

Osborne has expressed an interest in the ideas of "tax simplification" (including the idea of flat tax). He set up a "Tax Reform Commission" in October 2005 to investigate ideas for how to create a 'flatter, simpler' tax system.[citation needed]

Each year between 2006 and 2009 Osborne attended the annual Bilderberg Conference, a meeting of influential people in business, finance and politics.[9]

Comments on Brown

During Osborne's response to the Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown's Pre-Budget Report on 5 December 2005, Osborne accused Brown of being "a Chancellor past his sell by date, a Chancellor holding Britain back". In an interview the same week, he also referred to Brown as 'brutal' and 'unpleasant'.[10] In October 2006 Osborne was rebuked by the Speaker of the House of Commons when he attacked the Chancellor at Oral Questions to the Chancellor by citing a comment attributed to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions John Hutton, describing the Chancellor as likely to make an 'effing awful' Prime Minister.[11] It was widely suggested that Osborne was leading an assault on Brown which would allow the Conservatives to discredit him without damaging David Cameron's public image.[11][12][13]

"Run on the pound"

On 14 November 2008, in an intervention described by the BBC's Nick Robinson as "pretty extraordinary",[14] Osborne spoke out warning that the more the government borrows the less attractive sterling becomes. He said: "We are in danger, if the government is not careful, of having a proper sterling collapse, a run on the pound." Labelling Gordon Brown's tactic as a "scorched-earth policy", which a future Conservative government would have to clear up, Osborne continued: "His view is he probably won't win the next election. The Tories can clear this mess up after I've gone."[14] Lord Kalms, a prominent supporter of David Davis in the 2005 leadership election, told the BBC that former shadow home secretary David Davis would be more appropriate as shadow chancellor.[14]

The Deripaska claim

In October 2008, financier Nat Rothschild claimed that George Osborne had tried to solicit a £50,000 donation from the Russian aluminium magnate Oleg Deripaska.[15] The Electoral Commission received a formal complaint initiated in a letter by the Liberal Democrats' Home Affairs Spokesman, Chris Huhne, requesting them to investigate the claims against Osborne, the Commission rejected the claims and said it saw "no information" suggesting an offence.[16][17]


In 2009 he received criticism for the way he had handled his expenses, after he was found to have 'flipped' his second home,[18] changing which property he designated as his second home in order to pay less capital gains tax. The Lib Dems estimated he owed £55,000 to the public purse as a result of this.[19] He had previously paid back £1,193 on overpayments on his mortgage and chauffeur fares [20] and it also emerged that he had claimed £47 for two copies of a DVD of his own speech on "value for taxpayers' money"[21] Osborne is currently being investigated by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner over mortgage payments from 2003, and second home designation between 2001-2003.[22]

Political views

The Financial Times describes Osborne as "metropolitan and socially liberal. He is hawkish on foreign policy with links to Washington neo-conservatives and ideologically committed cutting the state. A pragmatic Eurosceptic".[23] There is no indication of any immediate eagerness to cut the State in speeches made up to the 2010 general election, with Mr Osborne seeking to propose unspecified cuts for 2011, should he be the Chancellor of the Exchequer. [1]

Personal life

Osborne married the author Frances Osborne, elder daughter of former Conservative Cabinet Minister David Howell, Baron Howell of Guildford, on 4 April 1998. The couple have two young children, Luke, born in 2001, and Liberty, born in 2003.[24][5]

Osborne's wealth is estimated at £4.3m.[25] He is also reported to be next in line to inherit a substantial share of Osborne & Little, his father's luxury wall­paper company.[25]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Britain's Top 10 Tories". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. 8 October 2009. Retrieved 23 February 2010. 
  2. ^ Rachel Sylvester and Alice Thomson (22 July 2005). "The future belongs to us, predicts Tory party's young star". The Telegraph. Retrieved 23 August 2009. 
  3. ^ Ross, Tim (7 November 2008). "St Paul’s School in £150m rebuild". Evening Standard (London). Retrieved 10 January 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Daily Mail. 7 April 2007. Oxford 1992: Portrait of a 'classless' Tory. Retrieved 22 November 2008. 
  5. ^ a b c "The George Osborne Supremacy". Daily Mail. 21 September 2008. Retrieved 21 September 2008. 
  6. ^ "Hague rejects post of shadow chancellor". The Guardian. 12 May 2005. Retrieved 4 May 2008. 
  7. ^ "Osborne will not enter Tory race". BBC News. 20 May 2005. Retrieved 22 April 2007. 
  8. ^ Greig, Geordie (6 November 2009). "David Cameron: Would I sack George Osborne? Yes absolutely if I have to...". Evening Standard (London). Retrieved 6 November 2009. 
  9. ^ "Register of Members' Interests - George Osborne". They Work For You. Retrieved 10 January 2010. 
  10. ^ Cathy Newman (2 December 2005). "Shadow chancellor attacks ‘brutal’ Brown". Financial Times. Retrieved 2007-11-19. 
  11. ^ a b "Treasury questions". Hansard. 26 October 2006 : Column 1637. Retrieved 2007-11-19. 
  12. ^ Derek Draper (21 August 2006). "Cameron's boot boys". Guardian Unlimited. Retrieved 2007-11-19. 
  13. ^ Philip Webster (5 December 2005). "New era will begin with attack on Brown's record". The Times (London). Retrieved 2007-11-19. 
  14. ^ a b c "Osborne fears sterling collapse". BBC News Online. 2008-11-15. Retrieved 2008-11-15. 
  15. ^ "Leading article: The flawed judgement of a shadow Chancellor". The Independent. 22 October 2008. Retrieved 23 November 2009. 
  16. ^ Huhne donor probe call rejected BBC News 23 October 2008
  17. ^ Huhne calls for Investigation of George Osborne Sky News
  18. ^ "'George Osborne ‘flipped’ second home to claim for £450,000 loan'". London. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  19. ^ "'MPs' expenses: George Osborne 'must be made to pay' say Lib Dems'". Retrieved 2009-06-13. 
  20. ^ "'MPs' expenses: The table of paybacks'". Retrieved 2009-06-18. 
  21. ^ "'Tatton MP George Osborne claimed £47 expenses for DVDs of his speech on "value for taxpayers' money"'". Retrieved 2009-06-18. 
  22. ^ "'Osbonre investigated on expenses"'". BBC News. 2009-07-02. Retrieved 2009-07-12. 
  23. ^
  24. ^ Hon. Frances Victoria Howell,,, retrieved 23 February 2010 
  25. ^ a b Samira Shackle, Stephanie Hegarty and George Eaton (1 October 2009). "The new ruling class". New Statesman. Retrieved 10 January 2010. 

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Martin Bell
Member of Parliament for Tatton
Preceded by
Oliver Letwin
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer

Simple English

File:George Osborne
George Osborne is the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

George Gideon Oliver Osborne (born May 23, 1971) is an British politician and is the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the current coalition government. He is the Conservative Party Member of Parliament for the Tatton constituency in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. He was first elected in the 2001 general election.

George Osborne was born in Paddington, England and was educated at the University of Oxford. He became an MP in 2001 and entered the shadow cabinet in 2004. In 2005, Osborne was made the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer by Michael Howard and held this post when David Cameron became leader of the Conservative Party. Osborne became Chancellor of the Exchequer on May 11, 2010 and since then has outlined £6.2 billion worth of cuts to help reduce the budget deficit.

Osborne is part of the old Anglo-Irish aristocracy, known in Ireland as the Ascendancy. He is the heir to the Osborne baronetcy (of Ballentaylor, in County Tipperary, and Ballylemon, in County Waterford).[1][2]



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