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George Osborne on Marr 2 The Left-wing press and political opponents occasionally try to continue propagating the myth that after leaving the federalist European People's Party, the Conservatives have now somehow lost the ear of those parties which remain in the EPP.

This is of course patent nonsense, not least as it is clearly in the interests of our European neighbours to be on good terms with those likely to forming the British government in the not too distant future.

But it didn't stop the BBC trying to suggest in October, for example, that relations were strained between the Tories and Angela Merkel's CDU.

Well, they are that strained, that – as today's FT reports – Shadow Chancellor George Osborne was afforded a warm welcome in Berlin yesterday by Wolfang Schäuble – the finance minister in Angela Merkel's Government.

Mr Osborne has also recently held two meetings with Christine Lagarde, the French finance minister.

As the FT reports:

Mr Osborne's team argues his programme of quiet diplomacy is proof that the channels of communication between the Tory opposition and decision-makers in Paris and Berlin are strong.

"I want to make sure the British government's voice is heard on important financial issues," Mr Osborne said. "It has been useful to build personal relationships with finance ministers. I hope to put them to good use if we win the election."

So can this ridiculous idea of ex-EPP colleagues giving the British Conservatives the cold shoulder be put to bed once and for all?

Update: Here is a photo taken yesterday of George Osborne and shadow Treasury minister, Greg Hands, with Steffen Kampeter MdB, Wolfgang Schäuble's deputy, taken outside the Bundestag.

Picture 41

Jonathan Isaby

95 comments for: More proof that the Conservatives have not been marginalised by ex-EPP colleagues

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