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Johnson to push at G7 for Osborne as IMF chief

Britain's former Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne | Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images

Johnson to push at G7 for Osborne as IMF chief

The bid would be seen as asserting UK influence after Brexit.

By

8/23/19, 8:09 PM CET

Updated 8/23/19, 8:24 PM CET

LONDON — Prime Minister Boris Johnson will lobby for former Chancellor George Osborne to be the next leader of the International Monetary Fund at this weekend’s G7 summit, according to a U.K. official.

Downing Street wants to nominate a candidate to replace Christine Lagarde as IMF managing director and, while Osborne has not been announced as the preferred choice, an official familiar with the government’s strategy said Johnson would have discussions at the G7 about his potential candidacy.

The EU has already chosen to endorse Kristalina Georgieva, the World Bank‘s chief executive. Nominations close on September 6. The U.K. official said there had been concerns the EU “rushed” the decision to nominate the Bulgarian, but any move to install a Briton would also be viewed as a deliberate bid to assert U.K. influence on the global stage after Brexit.

Osborne was chancellor from 2010 to 2016 and right-hand man to then-Prime Minister David Cameron. He has been editor of the London Evening Standard newspaper since May 2017, after being sacked as chancellor by Theresa May in one of her first acts as prime minister. Under his editorship the newspaper has argued against a hard Brexit that could be damaging for London’s financial services sector. However, the paper backed Johnson in the Conservative leadership contest,

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