Voters: Give Osborne a Break

William JordanUS Elections Editor
April 19, 2013, 3:39 PM GMT+0

George Osborne may be among the least popular members of the Government - but when it comes to his display of emotion at Lady Thatcher's funeral, voters of all parties overwhelmingly defend him

When, in their coverage of Baroness Thatcher's funeral, the BBC cut to a close up of the Chancellor with tear-stained cheeks, the media was quick to pounce.

Social media users posted captioned images and messages mocking the cabinet minister. Comedian Jonnie Marbles tweeted: "I assume George Osborne's crying because he's just realised that he is George Osborne"; it was reported in the Guardian that even some Tory MPs joked that what Osborne might really have been weeping over was disappointing economic figures recently out; Andrew Rawnsley today in the Observer reports on yet more jokes.

But a new YouGov poll released today shows that the public does not share the media's interest in the matter. When asked whether it should be a point of embarassment for the Chancellor, an overwhelming 79% thought not. Unusually for any survey result - particularly one mentioning George Osborne by name - this near-universal backing holds true of voters of all political persuasions.

The Chancellor is far from alone - almost a quarter (23%) said they have cried in public in the last year, and fully 77% of Britons said it should be acceptable for a man to cry in public.