In a joint interview the Tory leader and Shadow Chancellor deny that there was Brown-Blair Granita-style pact for one to seek the leadership first and the other later.

George Osborne tells The Telegraph’s Andrew Porter:

“We did talk about the leadership. But we made it clear that –
certainly I made it clear – that this was a decision for each of us as
individuals. I could see the way David was thinking. He was absolutely
up for it and he was going to go for it… Having a
conversation with David about it in a way helped make my mind up. Not
because he tried to dissuade me or anything, but because he was so
clearly up for it and I so clearly wasn’t.  So I thought
absolutely the right decision was to very quickly rule myself out and
then to be his campaign manager and get David elected. So we never had
a deal."

George Osborne won ConservativeHome’s Campaign of the Year Award 2006 for managing David Cameron’s leadership bid.  His inheritance tax cut saw him shoot up our shadow cabinet satisfaction league.  In members’ valuation he now stands alongside the much longer-established William Hague and David Davis in terms of approval levels.  In recent times Osborne formed an alliance with Andy Coulson to push the party away from the uber-modernisation that contributed to the trough in party support during the Brown honeymoon.

Cameron and Osborne have also been interviewed by the Daily Mail but that’s not yet online.  Ben Brogan has previewed it, though.  We’ll update this post as and when we get more…

Both men are currently in China.  In a 36 second Webcameron interview –
the first of a series – the Tory leader says that ‘You can’t be
Britain’s Prime Minister if you don’t understand China’.  Watch it here.

10.30pm: The Daily Mail’s interview with DC/GO is now online.

The key message of that interview (against ConservativeHome’s view) is that Osborne will remain Shadow Chancellor; Cameron: "Everyone knows the huge recovery of Conservative competence over the economy has taken place while he has been doing the job. I’m not encouraging him to read up on anything else."

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