During the EU referendum campaign, Stuart Rose built a reputation for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. In fact, his blunders became so regular that the chair of Britain Stronger in Europe had all but disappeared from public as polling day neared — with Mr S even issuing several appeals into the retail supremo’s whereabouts.
Now with Britain on its way out of the EU, Rose has surfaced and given an interview to City AM about the difficulties he encountered. He says that while he doesn’t regret getting involved, his ‘first, second and third instinct was to turn it down’ and that he thinks — if being honest — ‘businessmen should stick to business and politicians to politics’.
Rose — who says he was not the first choice for the job — claims he was ‘marginalised fairly on’ after Sky News used a clip of him in a sound check, getting the name of his organisation wrong. He was also surprised that the Remain-ers wanted to stick to ‘Project Fear’ — ‘They told us they knew how to win these things and it was all controlled from the centre’.
Of course if Rose had shown a bit more ability — perhaps refraining from claiming wages would go up if Britain left the EU or not confusing Sweden for Switzerland — there’s every chance he would have been permitted a bit more control on proceedings.