George Osborne: Theresa May is 'largely irrelevant' to British politics

Posted On: 
9th November 2017

George Osborne has accused Theresa May of being “largely irrelevant" to British politics in his latest outspoken attack on his former Cabinet colleague.

George Osborne and Theresa May in the House of Commons
PA Images

The former Chancellor used a blistering leader column in the Evening Standard - which he now edits - to ask readers to remember the “last interesting thing the Prime Minister said".

"The answer is: you can’t recall," the article said. "Since the general election debacle earlier this year she has been largely irrelevant to the political conversation in this country."

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Mr Osborne's latest intervention follows a tumultuous seven days for Mrs May in which she has lost two Cabinet ministers, Priti Patel and Michael Fallon. 

The Government has also been rocked after a gaffe by Boris Johnson left British national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe at risk of serving five more years in an Iranian jail.

Damian Green, the Prime Minister's de facto deputy, is also under investigation over claims he sexually harassed a female journalist, and that pornography was found on his work computer during a police raid in 2008. He denies both allegations.

The Standard leader said: “Here's a test for you: what was the last interesting thing the Prime Minister said? The thing we noticed, that stood out, that took a stand and risked controversy in pursuit of a cause?

“The answer is: you can’t recall. Since the general election debacle earlier this year she has been largely irrelevant to the political conversation in this country.

“That is because she lost her authority when she lost her majority. So instead of doing things, things are done to her. That now includes the composition of her Cabinet.

“The loss of two Cabinet ministers, Sir Michael Fallon and Priti Patel, in one week confirms the old rule in politics that when it rains it usually pours.”

Scathing Evening Standard editorials have become routine since Mr Osborne - who was sacked by Mrs May - took the helm earlier this year.

He previously accused the Prime Minister of using "false information" to justify her crackdown on foreign students who overstay their visas.

Another Standard editorial likened Mr May’s premiership to a “second rate horror film” after she insisted she will lead the Conservatives into the next election.

And he reportedly told friends he wants the Prime Minister "chopped up in bags in [his] freezer".