UK's Osborne to edit Standard newspaper

Matthew Lloyd  Getty Images

Matthew Lloyd Getty Images

Former chancellor George Osborne is the new editor of the London Evening Standard - his sixth paid job - and he still insists he can remain an MP, it was revealed today.

Last month Mr Osborne defended taking on additional work as part of his "varied and interesting" contribution to national life.

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.

He 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".

Osborne, who had privately had warned Cameron that the referendum was a mistake, campaigned hard to stay in the European Union, warning of devastating financial repercussions if Britain left. He has occasionally criticized some of her rightwing initiatives, such as promoting schools that select pupils based on academic ability.

Former BBC journalist and former independent MP for Tatton Martin Bell said: "I think multi-tasking of this scale has never been heard of before and there's a strong case of putting it to the people".

Evgeny Lebedev, the newspaper's owner, called the former Chancellor "London through and through" and lauded him as someone of "huge political achievement, and economic and cultural authority".

"Unprecedented" is being used alongside "powerful", "clever" and "cunning" as journalists analyze the appointment within the context of a toxic pre-Brexit atmosphere in the country and political infighting.

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

The former Cabinet minister's new job comes on top of a £650,000-a-year post working for a United States asset management fund, announced last week.

They added that numerous editorial staff on the normally pro-Conservative title found themselves agreeing with one of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's better Twittersphere attempts at humour when he tweeted: "It's taking muti-tasking to an extreme level - what a joke!" The basic salary for MPs is 74,962 pounds. "I'm a member of Parliament, I'm proud to represent my constituency".

It called-out a series of "conflicts of interest", and claimed that Mr Osborne "betrays incredible naivety about his new job and contempt for his current one".

Mr Osborne, who was sacked as Chancellor by Theresa May last year, replaces Sarah Sands, who is leaving after five years at the helm to join the BBC.

"When made Editor of The Sunday Times I was criticized because I hadn't been an editor".

Osborne, it also turns out, failed to get a place on the Times trainee journalism scheme after he graduated from Oxford in 1992 and was similarly rejected by the Economist. When asked once what his dream job would be outside politics, he said: war correspondent.

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