George Osborne aide 'too posh' for future Tory leader?


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Indy Politics

She is barely in her 30s and is virtually unknown outside Westminster. But one of the key players in George Osborne's Budget preparations is being tipped for high office.

Eleanor Shawcross, 30, has been the Chancellor's economic adviser for five years and is among a circle of his young, ambitious aides.

Friends say that although she has so far resisted suggestions that she should stand as an MP at the next election, her "share price is rising" and she could one day lead the party.

One ally said: "She has got the whole package – she is frighteningly clever, sharp and very charming."

Mr Osborne's chief of staff, Rupert Harrison, 34, an Old Etonian, is thought to be eyeing up a parliamentary seat for 2015 and has also been tipped as a future leader. But sources say it is Ms Shawcross who could emerge as the brightest star of the Osborne circle in the next decade.

Her Tory connections appear impeccable. The daughter of the royal biographer William Shawcross and the writer and life coach Michal Levin, Ms Shawcross was appointed to Mr Osborne's council of economic advisers in 2008, and also worked on Boris Johnson's mayoral campaign. She married the boss of Next and the Tory donor, Lord Wolfson of Aspley Guise, 45, last year.

But sceptics question whether, after the Cameron/Osborne generation, she is "too posh" for a party that needs to reach out to its "blue-collar" grass roots. Ms Shawcross was educated at St Paul's Girls' School in London, and Oxford.