Position: UK finance minister, known as Chancellor of the Exchequer
Incumbent: George Osborne, 39
Term: Started in May 2010. He can be replaced by the prime minister at any time.
— Osborne is the youngest Chancellor of the Exchequer since Randolph Churchill who was 37 when he got the job in 1886. Osborne served as the Conservative opposition’s finance spokesman between 2005 and 2010, during the last years of Labour’s 13-year rule.
— Osborne comes from a similar upper class background as close friend Prime Minister David Cameron. The heir to a baronet who co-founded the Osborne and Little wallpaper company, he was educated at London’s private St. Paul’s School and Oxford University, where, like Cameron and London Mayor Boris Johnson, he belonged to the exclusive Bullingdon dining club.
— After a short spell as a freelance journalist, Osborne joined the Conservative Party research department in 1994. He won Tatton, a seat in rural, northwest England, in the 2001 election at the age of 30. He is married with two children.
— Investors had doubted Osborne’s suitability for his current job, with a pre-election Reuters poll showing many favored the more experienced hand of former Conservative finance minister Kenneth Clarke to steer Britain into a sustainable economic recovery while reining in a record budget deficit. But since taking control of the Treasury in May, Osborne has impressed markets with a tough austerity plan to slash spending at government departments by about 25 percent and hike taxes to safeguard Britain’s top-notch credit rating.
(Editing by Paul Simao) Keywords: GB/PROFILE FINMIN
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Tuesday, 24 August 2010 21:21:38