The name’s Osborne, Jeffrey Osborne: Obama confuses chancellor with black soul singer

In the history of mistaken identities, it may be one of the more baffling examples. Barack Obama has apologised to George Osborne for repeatedly confusing him with black Rhode-Island soul singer Jeffrey Osborne.

The US president repeatedly made the mistake during a speech on tax avoidance at the G8. On three separate occasions he said he agreed with "Jeffrey".

The Financial Times reported that he later apologised to the British chancellor, saying: "I'm sorry man. I must have confused you with my favourite R&B singer.”

It may be the first time that the Oxford educated 42-year-old chancellor was mistaken for the 65-year-old singer of On The Wings Of Love.

The elder Osborne, who secured five gold and platinum albums as a solo singer, offered to come to Britain to perform a duet with Britain's chancellor.

"I was really delighted actually," he told Sky News.

"I was really not aware that he was that much of a fan that he would call the chancellor Jeffrey Osborne.

"Tell the chancellor when I come over I will have to hook up with him and we will do a duet of On The Wings Of Love or something."

The chancellor responded on Twitter this afternoon.

Speaking on LBC, Nick Clegg said: "I didn't hear this. I can see the newspapers have had some fun though."

The younger Osborne has long been mocked online for his middle name of Gideon, but there was a concerted effort to start a trend of permanently referring to him as Jeffrey this morning.