George Osborne named editor of London's Standard newspaper

George Osborne was the Chancellor of the Exchequer

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.

Evgeny Lebedev, who has owned the free daily newspaper for eight years, said critics should "wait to see a paper before judging", adding that Mr Osborne would provide a "more effective opposition to the Government than the current Labour Party". Labour lawmaker John Mann told the BBC that Osborne should quit parliament because he was not giving value to the taxpayer.

'He should be a man of honour, resign. "Osborne has shown total contempt for those rules, and I am calling for them to be enforced without fear or favour", said the MP.

'To do his advisory job and all those speeches as well?

Mr Osborne's editorship is one of several roles he has taken up after being forced out of frontbench politics.

Osborne now has six jobs and will earn more than £1.5 million (NZ$2.65 million) this year.

He will be paid £120,000 this year to be a Kissinger Fellow at the McCain Institute in Washington DC. The fee includes his pay as well as travel and accommodation. Or at least, never ask the former chancellor for career advice if you think it's a job he could be tempted by.

Osborne, now 45, became Britain's youngest chancellor of the exchequer for more than a century when the Conservatives took power in 2010.


Mr Osborne left the frontbenches last July when he was sacked as chancellor.

Among Evening Standard journalists there was a degree of scepticism over Lebedev's statement implying that Osborne had applied for the job, rather than it being the "strange and cosy" deal between dinner party pals that most of the staff suspect.

'The Evening Standard is a great paper, testimony to the hard work of Sarah Sands and the impressive team, and to the investment of its owners. We will be fearless as a paper fighting for their interests. We will judge what the Government, London's politicians and the political parties do against this simple test: is it good for our readers and good for London? "If it is, we'll support them; if it isn't we'll be quick to say so", Osborne said.

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

It suggested the Remain MP was joining the growing "liberal elite" outside parliament, and that he could use the new role to "try to establish" a "coherent force" outside the Commons to hold the Prime Minister to account. I was elected by my constituents in Tatton to serve them and I intend to fulfil that promise. "I will remain in Parliament, where that future is debated".

"I wasn't aware of it, but I'm here [not in London]", the source said. It's not a zero-sum game, but quite the opposite'.

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

He said: "Once he put himself forward for the position, he was the obvious choice".

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