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"a case I make on GuardianOnline."

Cameron aside, are you sure it is not actually Conservatives who are most keen to see Osborne step aside?

The IHT announcement was vital (though its pivotal importance has since been diluted or denied by many anti-tax cutting Cameroons) but that was a whole year ago. Since then, Osborne's performance as shadow chancellor has been so poor at a critical time that is has helped Labour as much as his IHT announcement hurt them.

Osborne started these dirty tricks by leaking his conversation with Mandelson, and the timing of it has been incredibly damaging. Is Osborne such a 'sharp' politician that he did not think that Labour would respond to his game-playing?

I can't help but think that this affair could just as easily be welcomed by the many Tories who do not think that Osborne is the right man for Number 11.

This is too good to miss. It's like a classic "James Bond" movie.

Rich mystery Russian billionaire on yacht. Surrounding by KGB agents. British politician on holiday with the wife and kids. (Were they there - and if so what did he do with them?). Meets an old friend from prep school. Introduces him to a high ranking offcial of the Politbureau.

Goes for drinks, gets drugged and taken to the yacht. After a memory makeover he wakens up and faces the photographers. Looking on from the shadows laughing is the Master of the Universe.

On the yacht celebration! The enemy is destroying itself.

Osborne has now demonstrated beyond all reasonable doubt that he has got to go. At a time when ORDINARY family's are struggling, his holiday in Corfu, his choice of companions [Mandelson, for gods sake], his lack of judgement, and that sneering Bullingdon photo, have just about done for him.

He is also USELESS as Shadow Chancellor- albeit a favourite of Con Home.

Come on folks- can anyone imagine Ken Clarke or John Redwood on that yacht, in that company ???

Its time for a return of the grown ups.

Ken Clarke would be warmly welcomed by the public and clearly has the top-level direct experience for the role.

I really don't think that Redwood or Hague would be welcomed by the public so well, nor do they have the direct experience.

I completely oppose Ken's EU views, but so long as Cameron remains true to his leadership election pledge that he will *never* drop the GB£ for the Euro, it really is time to fuse ideas (Cameron) with experience (Clarke).

"He should bring to the Commons the stories of small business people, homeowners, exporters, local councils and taxpayers who face enormous difficulties because of Labour's mismanagement. He should get real and a little bit angry".

Yes, of course, Editor, but in the opinion of many of us he should also be scrutinising Labour's facts and figures line by line, something that the conservatives in opposition have not really done.

What are the correct stats for: inflation, the level of government borrowing, the number of people not in employment, violent crime etc?

Of course you want the story to go away! If it was a Labour politician who had screwed up, you'd want it to stay. Get angry at Osborne, not the media.

Split the questions I think. 3 on the economy and 3 on terrorism/surveillance society. Theres plenty of material on them both. On the economy, ask why the government is in denial about its responsibility for the economic crisis, instead blaming the US but taking the credit if things get good. On trerrorism, ask whether he agrees with Ken McDonald about the potential overuse of terrorism legislation and demand that the Government abandon its Special Provisions Bill to introduce the 42 days law through at a time of national crisis, therefore bypassing proper scrutiny.

I don't like Lord Mandelson, but I can understand his fury that a private conversation with a political opponent while on holiday should end up in the national newspapers. The Daily Mail asks the question: Is this Mandelson's revenge? Of course it is, and I would have done exactly the same.
Osborne thought himself so clever to release the "Mandelson dripped pure poison" conversation which Mandy probably thought was on the usual Chatham House rules but how he's been hoisted - and he should go, the sooner the better.
(The only good thing to come out of this is that the subsequent turn of events means that Mandelson, in a roundabout way, has confirmed that Osborne's retelling of their conversation was actually correct!).

resident leftie has it spot on. And I hate it when he/she come on here and is right.

A contemporary of DC leaks the controversy about Osborne, just as Tory dissatisfaction with his performance is growing? DC must read these boards.

My money's on a plot to f*** Osborne over. "Hey, Nat. Ozzy's useless, feed something to the press so we can get rid of him"

Felixtowe Fiddler - Reverse the situation and have Osborne bad-mouthing Cameron to Mandelson, how long would that have stayed secret? Answer a lot less long than Mandelson's conversation!

EADS UK Ltd - Sponsorship
status: Company
company reg no: 2473840 111 Strand
Donation to Labour £ 7,225.00

Would this be the EADS UK that is owned by EADS in Europe?

Tim on R5: 'I think that a consensus is beginning to emerge that George Osborne hasn't done anything wrong'.

Okay, let's go through this proclaimed consensus then:

* Osborne ligged a holiday at Rothschild expense and failed to declare it.

* When on that ligged holiday, he met a very congenial Russian (ideal sort of chap to, uh, 'discuss history' with). George's reaction to this social boon? To seek out the Chief Executive of the Party and bring him (and not his family) repeatedly into the company of said Russian cove. To 'discuss history' with, natch.

* Of course, the outgoing Osborne also found other agreeable friends on his ligged holiday: one Peter, not yet Lord Mandelson for instance. George then tittled-tattled his conversation with Mandy to friendly hacks. George then repeatedly, ludicrously lied about having done so.

* But back to the Russian: George says he didn't talk about the mechanics of party-funding with him. Rothschild *and* Goodwin say he did.

* George, when these details started to filter out pulled a Maxwell and threatened The Times with a late-night writ. George *now*, rather more truthfully, disavows any prospect of going to court.

* George, demonstrably, was both unwilling and unable to answer accurately the questions hacks put to him yesterday.

So, we either believe George's torturous, parsed version of events, or we don't. Tim for ones does. Beyond my-dog-is-my-dog partisanship, why? Why exactly are Rothschild and Goodwin both lying, and to the same end? And why, still more mysteriously, has Osborne renounced the prospect of going to court to defend himself against these 'liars'? A conundrum indeed.

Why is the BBC still going big with this story 48 hours after it broke? I really don't understand it.

Let's look at this logically. DC has backed Osborne. He wouldn't tie himself to Osborne at all if he wasn't sure George was 100% innocent and won't come out of this badly.

Osborne's half denials on the news last night were Clintonesque in their evasiveness. Friendship aside, Cameron just cannot be happy with this state of affairs.

And that Bullingdon photo.............

Go out into the highways and byways of this country and you will find that most people do not trust the political class, regardless of party. Ask people why they are so reluctant to vote and too many will tell you that there is no point since "politicians are only in it for themselves"

If George Osborne had any sense at all he would have realised he should not even have been associating with a rich Russian Oligarch. He does not have any sense because his experience is entirely limited to public school, Oxbridge and working for the Tory party. (There is nothing wrong with any of these but he has done NOTHING ELSE in his entire life!).

I am seriously worried about the future of our country. After 11 years of a debt fuelled boom and now bust, we are close to becoming and economic basket case, much of our state education system has become a sick joke, we have been swamped with a massive influx of people from all over the world (many of whom, unlike previous waves of immigrants, have neither affection for not understanding of the country to which they have come), our badly equipped but well motivated Army has been sent abroad to fight (bravely) in wars that cannot be won and violent crime has a hold over our cities in a way that would have been quite unimaginable a generation ago.

So what are our leaders doing about this! Living it up with the rich and famous, or so it would seem.

George Osborne should go.

What has George Osborne done in his life other than work for the Tory party? I thought promoting unqualified professional politicians was the sort of thing Labour did.

Should read:

(many of whom, unlike previous waves of immigrants, have neither affection for nor understanding of the country to which they have come)

Who is Osborne's idiotic spokesman who responded to the original press enquiries by threatening defamation?

Now it looks like a climbdown because they won't go through with it.

I think too many hangers on are so sure that they are simpling sweeping to power that they think they can shoot their mouths off without consequences.

There was no donation- end of story

The real question is, why didn't he get a donation?

You're hanging out with the richest family dynasty in modern history and a hyper-trillionaire and you can't even get a five figure bung out of it?

The least Ozzy could have done was to trouser a Fabergé egg while Mandy was boring the vodka gargler.

Felicity Mountjoy at 10:08 "Why is the BBC still going big with this story 48 hours after it broke? I really don't understand it."

Because the British public - and this blog it seems - is obsessed with trivia and gossip and the media are out of their depth in anything serious.

And its not as though the crisis were not the most serious thing around for a very long time. As Tim says somewhere on the blog - - -"The media however, gave much more coverage to the fact that George Osborne hadn't received a donation from Russia's then richest man (and denied soliciting one) than was given to the previous day's story that Britain is borrowing more than at any time since the 1930s"

Britain - and this blog it seems - is singing, giggling to its end.

The whiff of Mandleson is back. This is a non-story, just socialist spin and manipulation of the Media.

It is quite clear that George Osborne is out of his depth and must be removed ASAP. Just look at his CV compared to John Redwood's. It is clear who has the experience and who should be Shadow Chancellor.

George Osborne MP:

Born and educated in London, George studied modern history at Oxford University, where he became joint editor of the University magazine Isis.

After a short spell as a freelance journalist, George joined the Conservative Research Department in 1994 and has since dedicated himself wholly to politics.

George has covered a wide range of issues and departments in his career – including Work and Pensions, Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, and Transport.

Before becoming Shadow Chancellor, he served as Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury and Shadow Economic Secretary, as well as sitting on the Public Accounts Select Committee.

MP for Tatton, 2001 –
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, May 2005 –
Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Sept 2004 – May 2005
Shadow Work and Pensions Minister
Shadow Economic Secretary
Opposition Whip
Political Secretary to the Leader of the Opposition and Secretary to the Shadow Cabinet, 1997-2001
Special Adviser at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, 1995 - 97

Rt. Hon John Redwood MP

John is a hard hitting campaigner who has taken up many causes during his fifteen years in Parliament so far. A business man by background, John tried out many different jobs before being elected as MP for Wokingham in 1987, so that he understood how many of his constituents saw life.

He has been a schoolteacher and a Director of a merchant bank, a temporary postman and the Chairman of a major Stock Exchange quoted industrial company, a County Councillor and a University Professor, a shop assistant and the pioneer of privatisation worldwide, a bank clerk and the Head of the Prime Minister's Policy Unit.

John has written several books and many articles. His most recent publications include Singing the Blues, Third Way - Which Way? (on how to pay for public services), Just Say No! (100 arguments against the Euro), Stars and Strife (on US-EU relations), Get a Move on (Selsden 2002 on transport policy), and Healthy Choices (NTB 2002 with co-authors on the NHS).

John entered Parliament in 1987 and was soon made a Minister, joining the front bench in 1989 as Parliamentary Under-Secretary in the DTI for Corporate Affairs. Promoted to Minister of State in 1990, he supervised the liberalisation of the telecoms industry. He became Minister for Local Government and Inner Cities after the 1992 election where he successfully saw through the introduction of the council tax.

In 1993 he was made a Privy Counsellor and Secretary of State for Wales in the Cabinet. He resigned in 1995 in order to set out the case against the Euro and for lower taxes.

In 1997 he joined the Shadow Cabinet handling the DTI brief. In 1999 he became Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment. In 2000, he was appointed Head of the Parliamentary Campaigns Unit. In September 2004, he became Shadow Secretary of State for Deregulation.

Since December 2005, he has been the Chairman of the Party's Economic Competitiveness Policy Group.

"David Cameron has the opportunity to change the focus again today at PMQs. My hope is that he gets angry on behalf of the British people stuffed by Labour's economic mismanagement."

Tim, enjoyed reading your article in the Guardian last night. Thought that both you and Michael White got it right. Its taken Norman Tebbit to come out with the right sound bite, and one I thought of when the story broke in the Times on Monday night.
I couldn't believe the media reaction to a story that had no legs even the Times peddled it as worthy of a front page. In fact as the day wore on, and the story developed more holes than a sieve the media just kept ratcheting up the hyperbole.

What was Peston doing intervening in such a way throughout the day on the Beeb and in his blog? Surely, that was a real conflict of interest right now?
Over at PB.com I predicted that the Brown Superman logo was just that, a media invention not reflected in the public's views. After the weekend polls, some in the media were prepared to admit that they got it wrong, others latched onto the Osborne story with a zeal almost bordering on fanatical, right in the middle of some of the worst economic news in many years.

A cursory glance around the blog's yesterday tells you all you need to know about this non story, so why are some in the media so desperate to make it something its not?

Iain Martin in the Three Line Blog got it right - The classic Mandy-Campbell squeeze
James Kirkup - Spinners told: hold the poison

But most importantly, Osborne is under this pressure because he is so dangerous to the Labour party. Cameron must stick to his guns and keep him in place, its personal and this is the one Shadow Chancellor's scalp that Gordon Brown would most enjoy.

I also hope that Cameron uses the one trait that he possesses which was sadly missing from both Blair or Major's political makeup, that steely determination that will put him up there with Mrs Thatcher on the leadership stage.
Some might say that Blair had it, but he didn't. What we had was a very ambitious man who could talk the talk, but often left others to walk the walk.
Cameron must also stick to his guns when it comes to handling the media now. He must NOT fawn over them and use them as both Brown and Blair have politically.

Yesterday, was interesting to watch, and while Labour's PLP cackle over the supposed cleverness of Mandelson (he is a b**t**d, but he is on our side, and its okay against the Tories).
They are already making the same mistakes they did over the last fortnight. Already there are briefings about who they might fear as Osborne's replacement, and if anyone on this site thinks that is the truth, they should start reading more about New Labour!
What the briefing does show, is the totally premature arrogance of the Brownite Cabal, nothing more!

Richard, if you want Redwood, then you do not want the Conservative party to win a GE.
He would be Labour's favourite choice too!

And by the way, I like John Redwood, and I suspect that he is more wily than some on here that talk him up as a Shadow Chancellor!

Tip, don't both giving us their biography's, explain the politics behind your choice?
And include both the politics of Labour's position and the Conservatives in your argument. Don't bother peddling any future upside for the Tories, because the immediate damage done to nearly 3 years of handwork by both Cameron and Osborne would be incalculable.
Still, maybe you want to go down memory lane again, and this time we will get another 5 years of Brown and Darling spending their way into and out of recessions.

Osborne is not up to the job.

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