Aug. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Prime Minister David Cameron quashed speculation that he may fire Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, saying he will remain in the post until the 2015 general election.
Media speculation that Osborne may be replaced in a Cabinet reshuffle next month has grown since his March budget provoked popular anger. He has been forced to reverse several of his tax-raising proposals, while the economy slips deeper into recession.
“George Osborne is doing an excellent job in very difficult circumstances and he has my full support in doing that. He is not going anywhere,” Cameron told Sky News in London today. Asked if this meant Osborne will still be chancellor at the next election, he said: “Yes.”
News last week that the economy contracted for a third straight quarter between April and June prompted renewed questions about Osborne’s economic plans and the pace of deficit reduction.
Osborne drew the most criticism in the popular press for imposing a value-added tax on hot takeaway snacks such as Cornish pasties in his budget, a furor that became known as “pastygate .”
The backlash saw Conservative colleague Nadine Dorries deride Cameron and Osborne as “arrogant posh boys who don’t know the price of milk.” Many of the budget decisions including the pasty tax have since been reversed.
Matthew Oakeshott, a lawmaker for the Liberal Democrats, the junior partner in the coalition government, recently told Sky News that “we need our A team at the Treasury.”
The Mail on Sunday newspaper reported July 15 that Osborne could be moved from his post if Britain loses its top credit rating, swapping roles with Foreign Secretary William Hague.
Dorries, who has clashed repeatedly with Cameron and Osborne over policy, called for Cameron to replace Osborne with Hague.
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