Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Chancellor George Osborne sees funny side of the Barack Obama's name gaffe

George Osborne
George Osborne

George Osborne has laughed off news that Barack Obama repeatedly referred to him as Jeffrey during G8 meetings this week.

The US President apparently mixed the Chancellor up with one of his favourite soul singers, Jeffrey Osborne.

And he committed another faux pas by saying Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg was better looking than David Cameron.

The inside gossip from the summit in Northern Ireland sparked frantic internet activity, with some wags pasting Mr Osborne's face on to his namesake's album covers.

The R&B star – whose hits include 1980s' tune On the Wings Of Love – also, bizarrely, suggested that they could sing a duet together.

But posting on Twitter yesterday, the Chancellor joked that his voice was not up to it.

"One unexpected breakthrough from G8 – offer to sing with legend Jeffrey Osborne," he wrote. "Jeff you wouldn't suggest a duet if you'd heard me."

The Cabinet minister attended the gathering to brief the leaders of the word's wealthiest countries on plans to crack down on tax dodgers.

But according to some newspapers, he was visibly put out when Mr Obama called him "Jeffrey" three times.

The leader of the free world responded to his 90-minute presentation by saying: "Thanks for that, Jeffrey."

Realising his mistake shortly afterwards, Mr Obama insisted: "I'm sorry, man. I must have confused you with my favourite R&B singer."

Mr Osborne's real name is Gideon, but he changed it to George as a teenager because it was "easier".

Asked about the mix-up, Jeffrey Osborne said: "I was really delighted, actually. I was really not aware that he was that much of a fan."

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