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George Osborne, 49, is dating former chief of staff who oversaw his image make-over as Chancellor

UK News

George Osborne is dating his former chief of staff who helped to overhaul his image when he served as Chancellor, it has been revealed.

Mr Osborne said that he is in a relationship with part-French Thea Rodgers, in her Thirties, who was his special adviser while he was in government. 

He had entered into the relationship with Ms Rodgers, who graduated from Oxford University in 2003, ‘within the past year’, he said. 

The former chancellor announced last summer that he had separated from his wife Frances, 51, who is the mother of his two children.

In a wide-ranging interview with The Times, Mr Osborne also said that Britain will have to brace itself for austerity after lockdown is lifted.

He warned that the country is entering a ‘huge great recession’ as a result of mass economic inactivity since the ‘stay at home’ order was given in March. 

The current Evening Standard editor said that Boris Johnson should announce a public inquiry into his government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.

He also suggested that politicians should ‘treat the public like adults’, adding: ‘I’d be surprised if all the members of the cabinet were still there in a year’s time’. 

George Osborne (right) is dating his former chief of staff, Thea Rodgers (left), who helped to overhaul his image when he served as Chancellor

George Osborne (right) is dating his former chief of staff, Thea Rodgers (left), who helped to overhaul his image when he served as Chancellor

George Osborne (right) is dating his former chief of staff, Thea Rodgers (left), who helped to overhaul his image when he served as Chancellor

Mr Osborne said that he is in a relationship with part-French Thea Rodgers, in her Thirties, who was his special adviser while he was in government

Mr Osborne said that he is in a relationship with part-French Thea Rodgers, in her Thirties, who was his special adviser while he was in government

Mr Osborne said that he is in a relationship with part-French Thea Rodgers, in her Thirties, who was his special adviser while he was in government

Mr Osborne said that he is in a relationship with part-French Thea Rodgers, in her Thirties, who was his special adviser while he was in government

Mr Osborne (right) said that he is in a relationship with part-French Thea Rodgers (left), in her Thirties, who was his special adviser while he was in government 

Speaking of his relationship with Ms Rodgers, head of strategy and communications at Deliveroo, Mr Osborne said: ‘I probably have never been happier in my life’. 

He gave Ms Rodgers credit for helping to shift his image while in government with a ‘Caesar’ style close-cropped haircut and a new wardrobe.

Together with barrister Robert Rinder, she also encouraged Mr Osborne to slim down on the 5:2 diet, which involves fasting for two days of the week.

Ms Rodgers has previously dated Ameetpal Gill, David Cameron’s former chief speechwriter-turned-director of strategy.

She also dated James Purnell, the former Labour Cabinet Minister.  

Ms Rodgers worked at the BBC, working her way up to be the broadcaster’s lead political producer before moving to Downing Street.

She is reportedly close friends with Sir Craig Oliver, one of Mr Cameron’s closest aides while he served in government.  

Mr Osborne, who is now the editor of the Evening Standard, announced last summer that he had separated from his wife Frances, 51, who is the mother of his two children

Mr Osborne, who is now the editor of the Evening Standard, announced last summer that he had separated from his wife Frances, 51, who is the mother of his two children

Mr Osborne, who is now the editor of the Evening Standard, announced last summer that he had separated from his wife Frances, 51, who is the mother of his two children

Mr Osborne gave Ms Rodgers credit for helping to shift his image while in government with a 'Caesar' style close-cropped haircut and a new wardrobe (pictured, July 2015)

Mr Osborne gave Ms Rodgers credit for helping to shift his image while in government with a 'Caesar' style close-cropped haircut and a new wardrobe (pictured, July 2015)

Mr Osborne gave Ms Rodgers credit for helping to shift his image while in government with a ‘Caesar’ style close-cropped haircut and a new wardrobe (pictured, July 2015)

The former chancellor also told The Times that the government will have to balance health risks against economic risks as Britain enters recession.

Mr Osborne, who was sacked as chancellor by Theresa May when she became Prime Minister after the EU referendum in 2016, warned: ‘Keep everyone indoors and the whole country will go broke. No one will work, kids will go uneducated. 

‘You can have a Nobel prize in medicine and still not know the answer. And so, ‘Go where the science leads’ is a misnomer, a red herring.  

‘In the end, politics is just a word we use to describe how we make trade-offs, and how we try to balance interests.’ 

He said: ‘In my experience of government, in the highest office as chancellor but also as a photocopy boy in Downing Street in the early Nineties, politicians have to lead and set out a plan and treat the public like adults. 

‘When they don’t, it goes wrong… If you send people back to school, back into the workplaces, there will be more infections.  

Mr Osborne also warned that Britain will have to brace itself for austerity after lockdown is lifted as the country enters recession (pictured with Ms Rodgers, 2015)

Mr Osborne also warned that Britain will have to brace itself for austerity after lockdown is lifted as the country enters recession (pictured with Ms Rodgers, 2015)

Mr Osborne also warned that Britain will have to brace itself for austerity after lockdown is lifted as the country enters recession (pictured with Ms Rodgers, 2015)

‘But if we don’t, people will have real economic hardship. Life expectancy will be less. People won’t get cancer treatment’. 

Mr Osborne said that ‘following the science’ is a ‘red herring’ and that politicians have to balance the risk posed by Covid-19 against economic risk. 

He suggested that Mr Johnson should ‘allow them (the public) to use common sense’, explaining: ‘They know how to protect themselves and their families.

‘The public are ahead of the government. Right next to where we’re having this interview, there’s a garden centre that’s been open for weeks in a perfectly safe way.’ 

He also refused to rule out a return to frontline politics, saying: ‘I think second acts are hard in British politics but it doesn’t mean they never happen.’ 

It comes after Mr Osborne warned there will be ‘hard choices’ for the government as it seeks to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said borrowing was £51.1 billion higher than the same month last year, the highest figure for any month on record

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said borrowing was £51.1 billion higher than the same month last year, the highest figure for any month on record

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said borrowing was £51.1 billion higher than the same month last year, the highest figure for any month on record

The sum is thought to have pushed total public debt to the brink of the £2trillion mark for the first time - roughly the same size as the entire economy

The sum is thought to have pushed total public debt to the brink of the £2trillion mark for the first time - roughly the same size as the entire economy

The sum is thought to have pushed total public debt to the brink of the £2trillion mark for the first time – roughly the same size as the entire economy 

MailOnline reported that the government had borrowed nearly £63billion over the 12 months to the end of March to keep the economy on life-support. 

The eye-watering figure was the highest for any month on record and more than double predictions from analysts. It means the government borrowed almost as much in April alone as it did in the whole of the last financial year. 

The sum is thought to have pushed total public debt to the brink of the £2trillion mark for the first time – roughly the same size as the entire economy. 

But Tory MPs have insisted there must be no rush to pay off the enormous liabilities, suggesting it should be treated like ‘wartime’ and allowed to subside over decades. 

Commenting on the figures, Mr Osborne told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘These numbers are striking but they’re not a surprise. 

‘And of course, they reflect the fact that there’s a lot of emergency, one-off spending – quite rightly, on things like the furlough scheme and loans to small businesses.’

Mr Osborne continued: ‘We have to come to terms with the fact that Britain, like every other country, is poorer than we thought it was going to be and our economy is smaller than we thought it would be.

‘And that I’m afraid, will lead to hard choices about what we can afford, how much we want to spend and how many taxes we want to raise to pay for it.’ 

DailyMail Online


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