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David Cameron candidly discusses his relationship with George Osborne - and says that their friendship would not make him immune from being sacked

Cameron and Osborne Most of the papers this morning cover tomorrow night's ITV1 profile of David Cameron in two ways.

Many include pictures of Samantha Cameron, who has conducted her first ever interview for the programme with Sir Trevor McDonald - and the first clips of that interview are here.

But the latest story to have been drip fed from the programme relates to the relationship between the Tory leader and his closest ally, the Shadow Chancellor.

Given how the Blair/Brown friendship turned into the most bitter of rivalries, the media are always going to be fascinated by the dynamics between Mr Cameron and George Osborne. But the Tory leader says in the programme that whilst the pair have "differences in opinion", they "work well together".

He explains:

"We get along very well, as friends and we like each other which is always a good start... But we are very driven by putting right the economy and we recognise that there are tensions in any political relationship. The Shadow Chancellor plays an incredibly important role and so we actually decided to put our offices together. All of our teams share an office together and that does matter. I think a lot of politics can get very poisonous, people acting against each other, leaking, and trying to bring that teamwork that you have in opposition into the government is important."

That is, I think, the first confirmation from Mr Cameron's lips of this story which ConHome broke last summer.

But in a surprising statement at this stage, Mr Cameron appears to suggest that Mr Osborne is not guaranteed the job of Chancellor for the duration of any administration he forms. Sir Trevor asks the party leader if he could ever sack Mr Osborne and he replies:

“Yes, and we’ve had that conversation. He is a good friend but we’ve had that conversation a number of times over the past four years. To be fair to George, he said if ever you want to move me to another job it is your decision and it is your right. Also, it was his decision and drive to bring back Ken Clarke, an ex-Chancellor. George is a big man. He understands politics is about big decisions and he wanted to bring Ken back, the last Chancellor to bring us out of a recession, and I thought, ‘Great’.”

He adds:

"I have friendships in politics of course, but that will never stop me from making the right decisions. Organising people and jobs is one of the most difficult jobs in opposition and government. I've had shadow Cabinet reshuffles, sometimes having to say goodbye to friends and people that I like but I have to be able to do that. There were people like Michael Gove, Jeremy Hunt, Baroness Warsi that got in at the last election that I wanted and that meant I had to let people go."

Jonathan Isaby


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