Prime minister David Cameron says chancellor George Osborne will still be in the role at the next election following calls for him to be replaced.
Office for National Statistics figures showing a 0.7 per cent drop in gross domestic product in Q2, 2012, the third consecutive quarter of falls, has led many to question Osborne’s performance in the role.
In response to the figures, former Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman Lord Oakeshott branded Osborne a “work experience chancellor” who should be moved ahead of an expected Cabinet reshuffle in the autumn.
But in an interview with Sky News last night, Cameron gave his full backing to Osborne.
He said: “George Osborne is doing an excellent job in very difficult circumstances and he has my full support in going on and doing that job.”
When asked if Osborne will still be chancellor at the next election, Cameron replied: “He is not going anywhere… yes.”
Cameron refused to be drawn on other Cabinet moves.
Business secretary Vince Cable has said Osborne is doing a good job and he disagrees with calls for him to be replaced.
Former chancellor Lord Lawson has called on Osborne to focus on being chancellor and not on political strategy for the Conservative party.