/George Osborne reveals the advice John Major gave him following 1997 election defeat

George Osborne reveals the advice John Major gave him following 1997 election defeat

The former chancellor of the exchequer discussed with LBC’s Ruth Davidson the highs and lows of his political career. explained how in his mid-twenties he was sat down by Sir John Major and warned of the danger the far-right and Eurosceptics within the could pose to himself and future party leader William Hague. Mr Osborne joked this was “prophetic” for what would happen at the end of his career in politics. 

Mr Osborne said: “I was almost the only person if not maybe the only person who worked every single day of that Tory opposition for the Conservatives.

“I was the first person into the opposition block after Labour had vacated it.

“I remember John Major who was briefly the leader of the opposition after Tony Blair had won sitting me down.

“This was the Prime Minister and I was still in my mid-twenties.

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George Osborne

Mr Osborne said he was the first Tory nto the opposition block after Labour had vacated it in 1997 (Image: LBC)

George Osborne

Ruth Davidson and George Osborne discuss his political career (Image: LBC)

“He said to me ‘don’t let William be destroyed by the right.

“Don’t let Europe destroy him.

“Watch out for the Eurosceptics’

“All very prophetic for what was later to happen to my whole career.”

Conservative Party

William Hague became the Leader of the Opposition in 1997 following the 1997 general election defeat (Image: LBC)

In the same interview, Mr Osborne revealed his true emotions towards Boris Johnson.

He said:  “One of the good things about my life is I have known Boris Johnson for twenty-five years and he is enormously entertaining and engaging and also a contradiction.

“He’s very talented and in many ways a brilliant political operator but often he will adopt causes to get him to the top that I don’t agree with, including Brexit.”

Mr Osborne also revealed he hoped Mr Johnson would return to behaving as a “Doctor Jekyll” figure as opposed to acting like the fictional character’s evil alter ego Mr Hyde.

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Scottish Conservative Party

Ruth Davidson is the former Scottish Conservative Party leader (Image: LBC)

He said: “I think he’s got what it takes to be the Prime Minister but I kind of wish he was the Doctor Jekyll side of Boris Johnson which is the liberal, tolerant, pro-immigration centrist Tory who was so successful in the city of London and not the Mr Hyde who is: divide the country, push Brexit to its political limits in order to eke out the advantage amongst the Brexiteers.

“I think he would be much better served being the Boris Johnson who was a very successful mayor.

“He’s made it now. He’s at the top and sometimes prime ministers need to be reminded that they’ve made it and when they’ve made it they no longer need to be dividing the country because they’ve got the advantage of uniting the country and leading the country and that is what he should be.

“The Prime Minister for the 17 million people who voted for Brexit but also the 16 million people who voted for Remain.”

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