As a former Conservative party researcher, advisor, MP and then Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne had a long career in politics, before seemingly ending it all and leaving Parliament at the age of just 45. Indeed Osborne can be said to have ended his political career, by the age, that many politicians are just getting started.
In 2001, Osborne became the youngest Conservative MP at just 30 years old. He was appointed Shadow Chancellor by Michael Howard in 2005 while still only 34.
Retaining his position under David Cameron, the pair took the Conservative Party into government at the 2010 election. George Osborne served as Chancellor of Exchequer for six years, but in 2016, was then sacked in high profile fashion by new Conservative Prime Minister, Theresa May.
In 2017, Osborne then became Editor of the Evening Standard newspaper. Osborne resigned his Parliamentary seat at the General Election soon after.
Chancellor of Exchequer
With the Conservative – Liberal Democrat coalition finalized in the aftermath of the 2010 General Election, Mr Osborne became Chancellor of the Exchequer.
As the new head of the Treasury, Osborne faced the aftermath of a global financial crisis. In a poker reference, Osborne later remarked that he started as Chancellor with a ‘two and a three’.
Shortly before the 2010 election, Osborne had vowed to be ‘tougher than Thatcher’ on Britain’s budget deficit. Facing a mounting budget deficit, Osborne oversaw a series of austerity measures.
One of Osborne’s key policies as Chancellor was his ‘Northern Powerhouse’ scheme. This was a proposal to boost economic growth in the northern regions, aiming to diversify the British economy beyond London. The aim was to devolve power, develop transport links and secure foreign investment across the cities in Northern England.
When Theresa May became Prime Minister, one of her first moves was to sack Osborne. Reportedly, and brutally, May told Osborne to ‘get to know the party better’.
What does George Osborne do now?
Since leaving Parliament, Osborne has only partially stepped back from public life.
In May 2017, Osborne assumed the Editorship of the Evening Standard. Osborne had no prior editorial experience in journalism, apart from editing two issues of an Oxford University student magazine. Osborne initially took the role while still an MP, alongside that of becoming an adviser to BlackRock, an investment giant.
Osborne’s extra-parliamentary jobs, in particular his role with London newspaper, sparked a debate about how much work he was putting into his job as an MP for a constituency in Cheshire. Appearing under pressure, Osborne resigned from Parliament in 2017.
In 2016, Osborne launched the ‘Northern Powerhouse Partnership’ (NPP) to lobby the government into continuing Osborne’s famous project at the Treasury. He remains Chairman of the Partnership.
In June 2020, Osborne stepped down as Evening Standard editor to move to the more managerial role of the newspaper’s Editor-in-Chief. In 2021, Osborne announced that he was leaving the Evening Standard to take up a job at the Investment Bank, Robey Warshaw.
In June 2021, it was announced that George Osborne was to become the new Chairman of the British Museum from October 2021.
George Osborne and Chelsea FC
In the spring of 2022, George Osborne, was involved in the successful bid by he Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly to clinch a takeover of Chelsea Football Club in what was one of the most lucrative sports franchise sales in history. Robey Warshaw, the City advisory firm that employs Mr Osborne, was an adviser to the consortium fronted by Mr Boehly.
In 2012 George Osborne had been pictured in the box at the Champions League final as Chelsea were awared the trophy. Osborne himself is a Chelsea fan.
Osborne joined the Conservative Research Department in 1994 and became Head of the Political Section. From 1995-7 he was a Special Adviser at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and worked in the Political Office at 10 Downing Street.
Osborne served as an important adviser for William Hague during his time as Conservative Party leader (1997-2001). Osborne helped Hague rehearse for Prime Minister’s Question Time by acting the role of Tony Blair in what has been described as ‘an alarmingly accurate portrayal’.
Osborne was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Tatton, Cheshire, at the 2001 General Election. In 2004, Osborne was appointed to the Shadow Cabinet by then Conservative leader Michael Howard as Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury. After the 2005 election, Howard appointed Osborne as Shadow Chancellor.
Following the 2010 General Election, Osborne entered No 11 Downing Street as Chancellor of the Exchequer. In 2015, he was appointed to the largely symbolic role of First Secretary of State. He actively campaigned for Britain to ‘Remain’ in the European Union in the 2016 Brexit referendum.
How old is George Osborne?
George Gideon Oliver Osborne was born on the 23rd of May 1971.
Osborne’s father, Sir Peter Osborne, started the successful wallpaper firm Osborne & Little and is the 17th Baronet of Ballentaylor and Ballylemon, a title that goes back to the 1600s. Osborne will inherit this title upon his father’s death.
Osborne is an alumnus of St Paul’s school and Magdalen College, Oxford. At Oxford University, Osborne was a member of the infamous elite dining club, the Bullingdon Club.
Is George Osborne married?
In 1998, Osborne married Frances Howell, the novelist and daughter of former Conservative Cabinet Minister Lord Howell. The couple divorced in 2019; they have two children.
In 2021, Osborne became engaged to Thea Rogers. Ms Rogers had previously worked as Chief of Staff to Mr Osborne when he was Chancellor, before moving on to become Chief Customer Officer at Deliveroo. The couple had their first child in the summer of 2021.
Twitter – @George_Osborne