Boris Johnson is a 'contradiction' who used Brexit to 'get to the top', former chancellor George Osborne says
George Osborne has described Boris Johnson as a “contradiction” that has supported causes such as Brexit “to get himself to the top”.
The former chancellor said the Prime Minister, who he has known for 25 years, has two sides to him similar to novel characters Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
He accused Mr Johnson of using Brexit to advance himself in the Conservative party and said he hoped the PM would embrace his “liberal tolerant, pro-immigration” Dr Jekyll side over acting as Mr Hyde by trying to “divide the country”.
Speaking on LBC Radio to the former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson, the Evening Standard editor added Mr Johnson has “got what it takes” to be Prime Minister.
But he warned: “He should be the Prime Minister for yes, the 17 million people who voted for Brexit, but also the 16 million people who voted for Remain...
“I think his basic political instincts..are the right ones. I think he’s got the material there and he needs to resist some of the baser temptations.”
Asked if Mr Johnson believes in nothing, Mr Osborne replied: “Boris Johnson believes in Boris Johnson, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.”
The pro-EU Tory also predicted Brexit may come in a form of close alignment with Europe due to the "reality" of dependence on European partners for the British economy and security.
Elsewhere the David Cameron ally criticised the “unpleasant” way he was fired by former PM Theresa May and said he was “yet to be convinced” the government's flagship Universal Credit benefits scheme will work.