George Osborne compares Boris Johnson to Dr Jekyll and Hyde character

PUBLISHED: 16:39 24 December 2019 | UPDATED: 16:39 24 December 2019

George Osborne appears on LBC Radio. Photograph: LBC.

George Osborne appears on LBC Radio. Photograph: LBC.

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George Osborne has compared Boris Johnson to a Dr Jekyll and Hide character who is a ‘contradiction’.

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Despite his newspaper backing Boris Johnson, the Evening Standard editor, said that Johnson's views were at odds with the former chancellor, and said that Johnson used Brexit to get to the top.

Speaking to Ruth Davidson on LBC Radio he said: "One of the good things about my life is I've known Boris Johnson for 25 years and he is enormously entertaining and engaging - and also a contradiction.

"He is a very talented, brilliant political operator, but often he'll adopt causes to get himself to the top that I don't agree with - including Brexit."

Osborne compared the prime minister to a Jekyll and Hyde character who is able to switch between conflicting political views to get where he wants to be.

"I always think when I look at Boris, I think he's got what it takes to be the prime minister and he clearly fills the job," he said.

"But I kind of wish he was the Dr Jekyll side of Boris Johnson, which is the sort of liberal, tolerant, pro-immigration, centrist Tory who was so successful in the city of London.

"And not the Mr Hyde who wants to sort of divide the country, push Brexit to its political limits in order to eek out the advantage amongst the Brexiteers."

"I think he would be much better served being the Boris Johnson who was a very successful mayor," explained the former chancellor.

"There are glimpses of it. I still think he's got it in him to be a very successful prime minister. But I think he should be the prime minister for the 17 million people who voted Leave, and also the 16 million who voted for Remain.

"I think his basic political instincts, beneath all the layers of calculation, are the right ones."

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