George Osborne 'hurt' by Paralympic booing because children were in the audience

Former Chancellor of the Exchequer says it was a moment that changed him for the better 

Heather Saul
Sunday 18 December 2016 11:52 GMT
Osborne 'hurt' by booing at Paralympics

George Osborne has said he was hurt by being booed during the Paralympic medal presentation ceremony because his two teenage children were in the audience.

The former Chancellor of the Exchequer’s unpopularity was keenly felt when the crowd began to boo as he presented medals to the winners of the Men’s T38 400m in September.

Recalling the moment on The Andrew Marr show, Mr Osborne said: “It hurt partly because my children were actually in the audience at the time, but it also made me think again, as Chancellor, that you can’t just hunker down in your bunker.

“You have to go out there and try to understand the country you’re trying to govern. That’s what I’m trying to do now, whether it’s with the Northern Powerhouse work that I’m doing, whether it’s travelling to these cities to understand why these people feel the system is not working for them.”

Mr Osborne may find it more difficult to understand the frustrations of those he hopes to serve since launching his lucrative new career as an after-dinner speaker, earning £500,000 from giving speeches since being sacked as Chancellor.

Regardless, he says being booed was an almost epiphanic moment for him, claiming it changed him.

“Of course, when you’re Chancellor of the Exchequer, you have to make difficult decisions and you have to live with them and people will judge you by them, but sometimes those moments do help change you for the better.”

David Cameron has had to endure his share of booing as well during sporting events, notably when he was mentioned by Andy Murray in his Wimbledon victory speech. Murray's well-intended shout-out did not go down well just weeks after the EU referendum, after which Mr Cameron resigned as Prime Minister.

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