The former Chancellor, George Osborne, told a Jewish Care audience this week that while he thought Brexit was a “mistake” for the country, he did not believe it was possible to ignore the referendum result.

Nevertheless, Mr Osborne, now editor of the Evening Standard, said that while “the prospect of not leaving is now limited”, he felt that there would not be much notable difference to the UK after Brexit — because, he said, most of the arguments put forward by the hard Brexiteers had fallen by the wayside.

Mr Osborne, in conversation with outgoing head of BBC News James Harding, was helping Jewish Care’s Business Group celebrate its 25th anniversary in an event sponsored by Metro Bank. Its founder and chairman, Vernon Hill, was also a special guest at the breakfast. Mr Hill, a close associate of President Trump, advised the audience not to pay attention to what Mr Trump said, but rather to his actions.

As Lord Leigh, chair of the Business Breakfast Group, recalled, 25 years ago the group’s first guest was the then editor of the Evening Standard, Simon Stevens.

Mr Osborne — rushing off immediately after his presentation to supervise a format re-launch for the paper — said: “It’s great to be here for Jewish Care. I think you do fantastic work and am pleased to be supporting you again”.

The event raised £40,000 to support Jewish Care’s vital work in the community.

Former Chancellor George Osborne in conversation with the BBC’s James Harding
Grainge Photography