Newspapers welcome George Osborne to the trade with words of warning


Newspapers welcome George Osborne to the trade with words of warning

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. It's a role that sits at odds with editing the newspaper whose city pages are hugely sensitive at the heart of Europe's financial capital. Once he put himself forward for the position, he was the obvious choice.

The red top called on Mr Osborne to donate his pay to charity if he "really wants to be editor while doing everything else" - but said to be an MP should be a "full-time role" and that he was "short-changing constituents and politics".

It said: "The Standard's schedule will enable Mr Osborne to edit the paper and continue to fulfil his other commitments, including as an MP; giving him the time to vote and contribute in Parliament in the afternoon after the paper has gone to print, and be in his constituency".

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". 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.

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

The Evening Standard has a circulation of nearly 850,000 a day.While the ongoing brouhaha among the chattering classes about his appointment has focused on numerous "gasp" worthy aspects of the appointment, it has largely ignored one: what the reactions say about how the British media - and society at large - looks at men as opposed to women.

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 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".

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!" "Are you sure it isn't?"

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

Mr Osborne, 45, tried to become a journalist before his political career began. The "gasps" occurred for many reasons, including the fact that Mr Osborne has no experience in journalism.

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



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