George Osborne almost apologises to Theresa May but doesn't quite
'Strong differences of opinion do not need intemperate language, even when said in jest.'
After holding out for a week, George Osborne has finally cracked and offered an olive branch to Theresa May.
The former chancellor has used an editorial in the Evening Standard to almost apologise for his "intemperate language".
But he has also stressed that his recent alleged comments about wanting the prime minister "chopped up in bags" in his freezer were not supposed to be taken literally and that he does not really want to murder May. Rather the comments were made "in jest".
Since being fired by May in 2016, Osborne has overseen a series of scathing editorials expressing his disapproval of a headlong rush into Brexit.
But Tory Brexiteers finally snapped when a profile of Osborne in Esquire stated: "According to one staffer at the newspaper, Osborne has told more than one person that he will not rest until she ‘is chopped up in bags in my freezer’."
With Osborne making no effort to distance himself from the comments, Tory MP Nadine Dorries called it "macabre and worrying" and called for the former chancellor to be banned from next month’s Conservative conference.
Despite the running feud, May gave an interview to the Evening Standard today in which she renewed her calls for a crackdown on modern slavery.
In return Osborne appears to have finally accepted that he might have gone too far. Or perhaps Evening Standard proprietor Evgeny Lebedev left the former chancellor with no choice but to eat humble pie.
Either way, today’s leader states:
“In the battles over Brexit, and over the future direction of the Conservative Party, some harsh words have been said about the Prime Minister.
“Her advisers created a poisonous atmosphere among senior Tories. But they are now gone, and a much more consensual team has recently replaced them in Downing Street.
“Mrs May’s critics in her party will want to respond in kind. We can reflect that strong differences of opinion do not need intemperate language, even when said in jest.
“Whatever the future holds for her leadership, today’s interview reminds us of Mrs May’s qualities.”
Photo by Press Association.