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un­til she ‘is chopped up in bags in my freezer’.”

It sounds like the sort of em­bar­rass­ingly ju­ve­nile jibe that might be spouted by a mem­ber of the Bulling­don Club, an out­fit to which Mr Os­borne be­longed at Ox­ford. In­side and out­side his party, con­dem­na­tion has been swift, with Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg crit­i­cis­ing the “bit­ter­ness and bile” of the com­ment, and the Labour MP Chris Bryant call­ing the re­ported re­marks “ab­so­lutely dis­grace­ful”. A

Down­ing Street spokesman said with­er­ingly, “The con­tents of the for­mer Chan­cel­lor’s freezer are prob­a­bly not a mat­ter for me,” a re­sponse that sets hares run­ning about what else might be in his Not­ting Hill fridge. Road kill? Piles of cash from his speak­ing en­gage­ments? His un­der­pants?

Mr Os­borne has not re­sponded to the Esquire claim, but he has made sim­i­lar com­ments be­fore.

Ap­pear­ing on TV just af­ter the Gen­eral Elec­tion, he re­ferred to Mrs May as “a dead woman walk­ing”. Is he re­ally tak­ing his re­jec­tion so badly that he has lost all sense of what is rea­son­able dis­course? If so, he needs, in the wise words of Frozen’s Queen Elsa, to let it go.

An­other strong fe­male he could learn from is Hil­lary Clin­ton. Hav­ing won the pop­u­lar vote to be US pres­i­dent but lost the elec­toral col­lege, the for­mer Demo­crat nom­i­nee has more rea­son than the ex-MP for Tat­ton for feel­ing bruised. Yet her new book about the cam­paign, What Hap­pened, pub­lished this week, is not quite the rage against the Trump ma­chine that might have been ex­pected. Cer­tainly, she comes across as fu­ri­ous at times, and she does not miss the chance to slate the vic­tor, call­ing Don­ald Trump “hate­ful and fla­grantly sex­ist” and a “fraud and a liar”. But the over­all vibe is one of wist­ful­ness, ex­haus­tion, hu­mil­ity and re­gret, not so much for her­self but for what might have been for Amer­ica.

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