George Gideon Oliver Osborne is a British former politician and newspaper editor who served as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2010 to 2016 and as First Secretary of State from 2015 to 2016 in the Cameron government. A member of the Conservative Party, he was Member of Parliament (MP) for Tatton from 2001 to 2017. He was editor of the Evening Standard from 2017 to 2020.
The son of the Osborne & Little co-founder and baronet Peter Osborne, Osborne was born in Paddington and educated at Norland Place School, Colet Court and St Paul's School before studying at Magdalen College, Oxford. After working briefly as a freelancer for The Daily Telegraph, he joined the Conservative Research Department in 1994 and became head of its political section. He went on to be a special adviser to Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Douglas Hogg and work for John Major at 10 Downing Street, including on Major's unsuccessful 1997 general election campaign. In Opposition, he worked as a speechwriter and political secretary to Major's successor as party leader, William Hague.
Osborne was elected as MP for Tatton in 2001, becoming the youngest Conservative member of the House of Commons. He was appointed Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury by Conservative leader Michael Howard in 2004. The following year he ran David Cameron's successful party leadership campaign, and was subsequently appointed Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer. After the 2010 general election, Osborne was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Cameron–Clegg coalition. He succeeded Alistair Darling, inheriting a large deficit in government finances due to the effects of the late-2000s financial crisis. As Chancellor, Osborne's tenure pursued austerity policies aimed at reducing the budget deficit and launched the Northern Powerhouse initiative. After the Conservatives won an overall majority in the 2015 general election, Cameron reappointed him Chancellor in his second government and gave him the additional title of First Secretary of State. He was widely viewed as a potential successor to David Cameron as Leader of the Conservative Party; one Conservative MP, Nadhim Zahawi, suggested that the closeness of his relationship with Cameron meant that the two effectively shared power during the duration of the Cameron governments. Following the 2016 referendum vote to leave the European Union and Cameron's consequent resignation, he was dismissed by Cameron's successor, Theresa May.
Osborne served on the backbenches for a year before leaving public office at the 2017 general election. He was editor of the Evening Standard from 2017 to 2020. He has been chair of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership (NPP) since 2016 and of the British Museum since 2021.