UK's Osborne to edit Standard newspaper

19 March, 2017, 01:16 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • Thrilled – Evening Standard owner Evgeny Lebedev said he was confident Mr Osborne is the right person for the job More

Yet the paper also warned in its leader column that the MP should "be aware. of the potential for conflicts of interest".

After university, Osborne tried but failed to get a place on The Times graduate scheme, though he wrote occasional pieces as a freelancer before entering politics.

Mr Osborne also accepted a controversial role with USA investment firm BlackRock, which is thought to come with a £200,000 pay cheque for one day a week.

Osborne indicated he would keep his job as a member of Parliament, together with a smattering of other advisory roles in private industry that are supplementing his income.

He said: 'This is such an exciting and challenging job and I'm thrilled to take it on.

Osborne will take on his new role as editor of the Evening Standard in early May after Sarah Sands, the previous editor, left to join the BBC.

Osborne said: "Growing up as a Londoner, I've always known that the Evening Standard is an institution that plays a huge part in the life of the city and its people". He said yesterday: "We will be fearless as a paper fighting for their interests". If it is, we'll support them. "If it isn't, we'll be quick to say so", he added. "I will remain in Parliament, where that future is debated".

Those words are likely to send a chill down the spine of Theresa May and her Downing Street team who, I am told, were kept in the dark until the BBC's dramatic news break.

The National Union of Journalists said: "Genuinely qualified journalists who would have done this hugely important job seriously are seeing it snatched away in a blatant, cynical political move". "Well, George Osborne is a very clever man - I am sure he could do anything he puts his mind to" she said. "I am proud to be a Conservative MP, but as editor and leader of a team of dedicated and independent journalists, our only interest will be to give a voice to all Londoners".

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Read media editor Amol Rajan's blog on George Osborne's appointment. "It smacks of a celebrity/PR appointment in which he'll be a frontman figure while the real professionals get on with the job of actually producing a newspaper".

But despite all this work outside the Commons Mr Osborne will remain as an MP and will continue to vote and contribute in Parliament in afternoons after the paper goes to print, the Standard confirmed.

A spokesman for Jeremy Corbyn said the appointment made a "mockery" of media independence and "insulted" Mr Osborne's constituents.

"He will edit the paper an average of four days a week".

The Tory MP, who was sacked by Theresa May previous year, will take up the reins of the London Evening Standard in May.

The incredulous Twitter tsunami of reactions to the Osborne editorship appointment included much mirth and some classic quips. A senior party source looked caught off-guard when approached by IBTimes UK, admitting that he had no prior knowledge of Osborne's new journalism job.

"It is also unprecedented in the modern era for a newspaper editor to be a sitting MP" says that report by Sky News. "He can not stay on as an MP, it's absolutely disgraceful". I doubt there is a single MP in any party who thinks it is acceptable.

Meanwhile The Guardian described the politician as the county's "most celebrated trainee journalist" as it welcomed him to the industry. The "gasps" occurred for many reasons, including the fact that Mr Osborne has no experience in journalism.

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