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  1. ITV Report

'There are two types of Boris Johnson': Former chancellor George Osborne takes a dig at ex-mayor

Former chancellor George Osborne appeared on Peston alongside Nigel Farage and others. Credit: ITV

Former chancellor George Osborne has said there are two different versions of Boris Johnson and he isn't sure which one will turn up to a potential future Conservative leadership contest.

Speaking to ITV News Political Editor Robert Peston, Mr Osborne claimed one version is "hard Brexit Boris" and the other "the mayor who won Tory victories in a city that previously always voted Labour".

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Touching on a potential leadership race, Mr Osborne, who was a colleague of Mr Johnson before stepping down in 2017 following the Brexit referendum, said: "We'll see which Boris emerges."

Making a joke about Mr Johnson's pre-EU referendum position, Mr Osborne quipped: "He likes to have two articles to hand and we'll see which one he produces in the leadership contest."

Not only did David Cameron's former right hand man appear to criticise Mr Johnson, he also took a dig at another of his ex-colleagues, now prime minister, Theresa May.

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He said he doesn't see how she can continue as PM and claimed the sooner the Conservative Party can move on, the better.

"She can't pass the Brexit deal, she's tried, she's been trying since December, she's not relying on Jeremy Corbyn to save her, despite at the same time saying he's unfit for office.

"That's not a sustainable position for a prime minister."

He added: "The Conservative Party needs to move on, it knows it needs a new leader by the time of the election, it's hemorrhaging support, it's losing in those local elections.

"That means it's losing its activist base in crucial areas it's going to need to hold in a general election so the sooner we get on with it as a party the better."

Also appearing on Peston was founder of the new Brexit Party, former Ukip leader Nigel Farage, who said forming the party was "not gesture politics".

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He said: "I am not looking for people to go out on May 23 and stick two fingers up at the establishment.

"This is the first step in a much bigger, much more ambitious project."

He added: "We're never going to get the Brexit we voted for with this current Parliament so we need to change the people that are sitting in the House of Commons.

"We will go on from the European elections and we will fight by-elections and general elections."

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