George Osborne has mocked Labour for receiving economic advice from Yanis Varoufakis and broadcaster Paul Mason, suggesting they were chosen because “Chairman Mao was dead and Mickey Mouse was busy”.

Jeremy Corbyn has confirmed the former Greek finance minister will play a role in advising the party and Osborne used Treasury questions to poke fun at the announcement.

British Finance Minister George Osborne, right, and Greece's new finance minister Yanis Varoufakis speak during their meeting at 11 Downing Street
Yanis Varoufakis in Number 11 with Osborne (Matt Dunham/AP)

The Chancellor told the House: “Frankly, the fact that the Labour Party is now getting its advice from Yanis Varoufakis and the revolutionary Marxist broadcaster Paul Mason does not suggest to me that they have got an answer to economic security.

“Presumably they chose those two because Chairman Mao was dead and Mickey Mouse was busy.”

Crowds holding posters of Mao Zedong fill the street of a city in China, celebrating the triumph of the Communist revolution.
Mao, the Chinese communist leader, was responsible for famine and the deaths of millions (AP)

Meanwhile, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Greg Hands also tried to get in on the act but was slammed by John Bercow for being “boring” and wasting Parliament’s time.

Jeremy Quin, the Tory MP for Horsham, asked Hands if the frontbench is “looking forward to the pearls of wisdom” which may come from Labour because of the party’s relationship with Varoufakis.

Paul Mason, Economics Editor for Newsnight, (right) joins striking journalists on the picket line outside BBC Television Centre, London.
Paul Mason is the economics editor of Channel 4 News (Ian Nicholson/PA)

Hands said: “It would appear from this morning’s Sun that Labour MPs are extremely unhappy…”

But he was then shut down by Mr Bercow who said: “Order. Sit down. It’s a terrible waste of time. Long-winded, boring and unnecessary.”

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