Police have today cautioned George Osbourne and issued an interim restraining order banning him from all garden centres, after reports that he was seen 'maliciously stamping on the green shoots of recovery'.
Osborne is reported to have roamed the home counties in a Range Rover with his 'crew' (dubbed the 'Eton Massiv'), targeting a cross-section of plant emporiums, vandalising new growth whenever they got the chance.
A shocked witness, Doris Shuttlecock who shops regularly at the Cheapside Hilliers, said she saw him "lurking around the plug-plants section with one of those awful squirty bottles that has a picture of a dead dandelion and a bee crossed out".
Doris' husband, Len, added "He had a couple of other thugs with him. A bald one (later identified as 'Ian Duncan-Smith') who seemed to be nicking the seed pods off hard-working plants, and posh-looking one with a big shiny face who kept saying "Look..." then dropping his trousers and dumping tons of fertiliser on the seedlings, smothering them in a suffocating mess".
Rose gardens have reported the mysterious 'dead-heading' of every bud from their red rose varieties. Police have yet to prove a link between this and the other incidents.
Members of the public have been urged to be vigilant, and report any further sightings of Osbourne, IDS or the one they call 'Dave', anywhere near the garden section of local superstores, or arboretums, where it has been alleged that they might be tree fellers.