It’s Kill Osborne season. Trevor Kavanagh in the Sun keeps up the pressure after another terrible round of Sunday’s for the Chancellor:
“It is Mr Osborne, not Nick Clegg’s Lib Dem rabble, who is to blame for the Government’s collapse in public esteem… In a few short weeks, Mr Osborne has shredded his reputation and turned the Coalition into a lame duck administration. It takes a special talent to cast Mr Balls on the right side of an economic argument but Mr Osborne somehow managed to do so. If the Prime Minister cannot grasp this nettle, he is finished.”
It’s amazing who you bump into on trains. Guido was chatting with this morning a loyal Cameroon source, familiar with Andrew Cooper’s polling numbers, who confirmed the speculation that Osborne is the biggest drag on the ticket in Downing Street’s private polling. Since the budget, George’s already shaky polling figures have apparently dropped through the floor and are showing no sign of recovery.
Guido understands that the reshuffle was planned for the week after the senior government appearances at Leveson. It would have been a nice distraction if things had gone disastrously. However given that the outcome of Cameron evidence was seen as an embarrassment rather than full on danger, with his tactician’s hat on, Osborne convinced Dave to delay. A month ago he would have been safe in his job, but 5 September is a very long way away…