Business

Osborne Evening Standard job prompts calls for inquiry

Osborne Evening Standard job prompts calls for inquiry

On the Today programme this morning, Rohan Silva - the former No 10 SpAd - took to the airwaves to try and defend his one-time boss's decision to take on the role of Evening Standard editor while also continuing as the MP for Tatton and as a £650k per annum advisor to BlackRock.

But The Daily Mirror did not take too kindly to the news, claiming the role was "incompatible with representing the good people of Tatton in Cheshire". "Well, George Osborne is a very clever man - I am sure he could do anything he puts his mind to" she said.

Tom Watson, Labour's deputy leader, said Mr Osborne's new job was "incompatible" with his role as an MP.

Announcing the appointment, the Standard said Mr Osborne would edit the paper four days a week and would then have time for his parliamentary duties in the afternoons once it has gone to print. After leaving Oxford University he failed to get a place on The Times trainee scheme and worked briefly as a freelancer for The Daily Telegraph's Peterborough diary column, before becoming a researcher at Conservative central office.

This is in addition to his £74,000 backbench MP salary, while he has also registered more than £780,000 in payments for making 14 speeches since last September.

"It's no different to [now Foreign Secretary] Boris Johnson being the editor of The Spectator for years as a member of parliament", Philip Merry, a Tory from the Wirral told IBTimes UK.

In its editorial, the paper said: "The next time he pretends to champion the "Northern Powerhouse" he'll probably mean leafy Crouch End and Muswell Hill at the top end of London".

"So much is now at stake about the future of our country and its capital city", he said.


"In George, we have appointed someone of huge political achievement, and economic and cultural authority", he said.

Osborne accepted the appointment despite the fact he has not yet been vetted by the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACOBA), which investigates private sector jobs taken by former ministers.

"I am proud to have an editor of such substance, who reinforces The Standard's standing and influence in London and whose political viewpoint - socially liberal and economically pragmatic - closely matches that of many of our readers", Lebedev said.

A spokesman for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called the called the appointment "another example of the establishment revolving door". "Are you sure it isn't?" "He can not stay on as an MP, it's absolutely disgraceful".

Insiders insist the editorship will be his most important job outside of Parliament.

Mr Osborne, 45, tried to become a journalist before his political career began.

And with those words, Andrew Neil captured the prevailing mood of the stunned world of journalism, politics and the wider world beyond.

I watched a woman who was described as a supporter of the Conservative Party on television on BBC News after the announcement was made, asked what she thought of it.


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