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An informal job interview in the park?

Michael Crick | 14:58 UK time, Wednesday, 28 July 2010

I was amused this lunchtime to see Robert Chote, the highly-regarded director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, having lunch with Rupert Harrison, George Osborne's whizz-kid economic adviser, at the Inn The Park restaurant in the middle of St James's Park.

Chote, who was chairman of the Liberal association when he was at Cambridge University, is a widely tipped as favourite to succeed Alan Budd as director of the government's new Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR). And he's never tried to deny that he'd like the job.

Although the OBR is meant to be an independent body, the directorship is decided by the chancellor.

I can't help feeling that Harrison was giving Chote an preliminary job interview.

Today's lunch seemed a pretty informal occasion, since Chote was not only displaying the top of his Calvin Klein underpants, but wearing garish purple v-neck top - mind you, that's a big improvement on the bright blue suits he normally wears.



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