George Osborne has reignited the row over his multiple business commitments after it emerged the former chancellor is planning to launch his own clothing line.
In a letter to the House of Commons authorities, seen by the Guardian, Osborne told the advisory committee on business appointments that his new fashion firm would design âhigh-quality, hi-visibility industrial garments aimed at the multitasking CEOâ.
His ideal client, he said, would be someone who âtakes note of fashion while taking care of businessâ.
The firm has been registered at Companies House with the name âGeorgioâ.
Osborne said the idea for the new range came to him during his numerous visits to factories and production lines as chancellor, when he had been forced to wear âill-fitting and itchyâ luminous tabards, unflattering hard hats and âghastlyâ steel-capped boots.
His new range for men is believed to include sharply tailored three-piece suits cut on the bias from fluorescent orange cloth, and âbodyconâ boilersuits âfor the worker who also works outâ.
An accompanying range for women features a lightweight hazmat suit with a detachable peplum, and safety boots with a low kitten heel.
âIâve run the country. Iâm editing a newspaper. But Iâve always wanted to design stylish but functional workwear for the safety-conscious production line technician,â Osborne said.
The new venture takes to seven the number of jobs held by the former chancellor, who sparked controversy when he accepted the position of editor of the London Evening Standard last month while still serving as MP for Tatton in Cheshire.
In addition, Osborne works one day a week as a consultant for the fund management giants BlackRock, is a visiting fellow at an Arizona university, chairs the Northern Powerhouse Partnership and charges five-figure sums for after-dinner speeches.
Osborne told the Guardian: âPeople laugh when I say this, but I wasnât actually very good at maths at school â hard to believe, I know! I much preferred putting together sketches for directional leisurewear or a cutting edge new trouser.â
Pricing for the new range is understood still to be under review, though Osborne said he was âvery conscious of the budgets of ordinary peopleâ and that key pieces would retail at an âausterity-friendlyâ Â£300-Â£500 per item.
The former chancellorâs frantic working life is in contrast to that of his former close colleague David Cameron, who was spotted on Friday feeding the ducks near his home in Oxfordshire with slices of bread from a Smythson tote bag.
Asked his view of his friendâs new venture, the former prime minister said: âGet off my land.â
The market leader in industrial clothes is currently the Finnish giant Aprillipila. Its spokesman Ima Pulenyerlegg said Osborne was out of his depth. âHe should stick to his day job. One of them anyway.â
Labour described the news as âa complete joke from start to finishâ.