LONDON, June 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
George Osborne has lost the trust of business leaders because of the way he has manipulated economic data in the Brexit debate, a top Tory donor has warned, adding that the time has come to "think about a new Chancellor."
In an interview with the Sunday Times, Alexander Temerko, energy industrialist and leading Conservative Party donor, singled out George Osborne as the driving force behind the 'Project Fear' aspect of the EU referendum debate. He highlighted that Mr Osborne's "manipulation" of the figures had done real damage to the credibility of the Treasury.
Mr Temerko said: "Business has lost trust in the chancellor because of the big manipulations of figures in the referendum and very strange statements - so aggressive and without proper evidence - about what will happen if we leave the European Union.
"For the political unity of the party, we need to return trust to our economic programme and we definitely need to think about a new Chancellor."
In a recent article for CNBC, Mr Temerko also underlined the need to look beyond 23 June and focus on the bigger picture. According to him, particular attention should be paid to shoring up the Conservative Party's economic credibility as part of wider efforts to restore unity within the party and across Britain following the vote.
He said: "Whatever the outcome - even though I hope it is Remain - restoring unity to the country and to the Conservative party will be vital after the referendum. The hardest part of all is likely to be restoring faith in our economic policy after the 'long-term economic plan' has become an essentially meaningless phrase, little more than a joke.
"We need a shared vision for the future as well as confidence that it is achievable and realistic. The businesspeople who will ultimately drive our growth forward need to feel the government knows what it is doing on the economy. For that, we need reliable figures from the Treasury and a Chancellor who can be trusted."
Mr Temerko concluded: "It is time to put an end to the politics of scare-mongering and to focus on developing a truly credible economic plan. Britain deserves better."