George Osborne faces grilling from grassroots Tories after becoming Evening Standard editor

  • George Osborne faces grilling from grassroots Tories after becoming Evening Standard editor

George Osborne faces grilling from grassroots Tories after becoming Evening Standard editor

The grilling on Friday will come a day after the Committee on Standards in Public Life meets to discuss the controversial appointment.

Martin Bell, the former war correspondent who was replaced by Mr Osborne as Tatton MP in 2001, told the BBC: "It sounds like fake news to me".

Mr Osborne is no stranger to controversy for taking work outside Parliament, after he accepted a post as an adviser to the USA asset management fund BlackRock for £650,000 a year.

'You can not be serious!' No, not the old John McEnroe quote, but the reaction of most of the journalistic profession and the editorial staff of the London Evening Standard, the paper George Osborne has been sensationally appointed to edit.

"We have not ruled out MPs having second jobs, quite deliberately, up until now, but we now have to look again at our rules", he told the Sunday Times.

Separately, Paul Bew, chairman of the United Kingdom advisory Committee on Standards in Public Life, said he was "uncomfortable" with Osborne's professional arrangement and that it was the right time to "discuss whether our rules on second jobs need to be changed in light of this", according to the newspaper. "It now seems to be getting into rockier waters".

The newspaper announced Mr Osborne, who was educated at St Paul's School in Lonsdale Road, Barnes, before reading modern history at Magdalen College, Oxford, will edit the paper on average four days a week.

Osborne's case raised the "issue of how much time MPs have to devote to their parliamentary work", Bew said.

SNP MP Tommy Sheppard, who sits on the committee, told the Sunday Telegraph that there was "broad agreement" that a second job "must be something that demonstrably doesn't prevent you doing your first job as an MP".

His appointment as editor of the Evening Standard provoked "huge shock" in his constituency in Tatton, Cheshire, which is 200 miles away from London. How many votes would you miss in the Commons, for example?

Criticism of the appointment continues to grow, with Ruth Davidson, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, doubting his ability to juggle the jobs.

'He is a highly capable guy and it should make politics more interesting'.

RS: Yeah, he said a bunch of people had been calling him up asking him for advice on whether they should apply for the editorship job, and after a few of these calls he thought "hang on, actually, this is something I really want to do".

She said: "I was 10 years a journalist and six years a politician". I work a pretty busy week as it and this week in particular. "So, I'm not sure you can do both at the same time, if I'm honest".

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.