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(From Guardian Unlimited)
When George Osborne announced plans to abolish the Financial Services Authority last July, it provoked a rare wobble in the Tories' rock-solid support in the City. Few disputed the need for change, but handing down a death sentence during international efforts to clean up banking drew accusations of opportunism from usually sober quarters.
Six months later, the resignation of FSA boss Hector Sants appears to confirm the fears of Osborne's critics, while the shadow chancellor faces questions on a growing range of issues, from his plans to cut national debt to dealing with bank bonuses.
Osborne is working to win credibility in a version of the prawn cocktail offensive by John Smith and Gordon Brown to reassure a sceptical City about Labour's ability to run the economy.
If he becomes chancellor after the general election, 38-year-old Osborne will be the youngest for 125 years. It is a fact the Tories would rather not dwell …