Ex-chancellor reignites row over multiple commitments by announcing new clothing line for fashion-conscious … – The Guardian

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 “high-quality, hi-visibility industrial garments aimed at the multitasking CEO”.

His ideal client, he said, would be someone who “takes note of fashion while taking care of business”.

The firm has been registered at Companies House with the name “Georgio”.

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 “ill-fitting and itchy” luminous tabards, unflattering hard hats and “ghastly” steel-capped boots.

‘High-quality, hi-visibility industrial garments aimed at the multitasking CEO.’



‘High-quality, hi-visibility industrial garments aimed at the multitasking CEO.’ Photograph: Getty Images

His new range for men is believed to include sharply tailored three-piece suits cut on the bias from fluorescent orange cloth, and “bodycon” boilersuits “for the worker who also works out”.

An accompanying range for women features a lightweight hazmat suit with a detachable peplum, and safety boots with a low kitten heel.

“I’ve run the country. I’m editing a newspaper. But I’ve always wanted to design stylish but functional workwear for the safety-conscious production line technician,” 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: “People laugh when I say this, but I wasn’t actually very good at maths at school – hard to believe, I know! I much preferred putting together sketches for directional leisurewear or a cutting edge new trouser.”

Pricing for the new range is understood still to be under review, though Osborne said he was “very conscious of the budgets of ordinary people” and that key pieces would retail at an “austerity-friendly” £300-£500 per item.

One of the Georgio designs.



One of the Georgio designs. Composite: Getty

The former chancellor’s 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 friend’s new venture, the former prime minister said: “Get off my land.”

The market leader in industrial clothes is currently the Finnish giant Aprillipila. Its spokesman Ima Pulenyerlegg said Osborne was out of his depth. “He should stick to his day job. One of them anyway.”

Labour described the news as “a complete joke from start to finish”.

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