George Osborne has defended his shock appointment as the new London Evening Standard editor.

The former chancellor has been criticised for saying he will stay on as an MP while also heading up the newspaper from this May.

The ex-frontbencher, 45, told the Commons that Parliament is enhanced when people of different experience take part in it.

Speaking after Labour asked an urgent question on the topic, Mr Osborne said he will listen to what other MPs think of his decision, and also made a joke about having missed the deadline for the Evening Standard.

Some people have questioned how he will be able to edit the publication an average of four days each week and also balance the needs of his constituents in Tatton, Cheshire.

Mr Osborne, who now is facing calls to step down as an MP, also has a number of other jobs.

They include being an adviser to investment firm BlackRock, which requires 48 days’ work a year in exchange for £650,000.

He is also a speaker at the Washington Speakers Bureau, a chairman of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, and a fellow at US think-tank the McCain Institute.

Following the shock announcement about his new job last Friday, politicians and journalists reacted with bafflement.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called the decision a joke, and some constituents were also critical, urging him to spend more time focusing on them.

Critics have called for an inquiry into whether he broke rules for ex-ministers by failing to clear the appointment with the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, which vets new jobs taken by senior public figures.

Sky’s Chief Political Correspondent Jon Craig said of Mr Osborne’s Commons appearance: He will be relieved that there was strong support for him from all the Conservative MPs who spoke – and not just from close friends like Michael Gove.

He added: It was his (Osborne’s) final sentence, when he said he would ‘listen to what my colleagues have to say in this debate’, that was most intriguing. Was this a hint that he might eventually bow to the pressure to quit as MP for Tatton?

That’s certainly not his intention. He hasn’t given up hope of returning to high office, even though Tatton is due to disappear in boundary changes, and so far he’s determined to remain as an MP.


(c) Sky News 2017: Ex-chancellor George Osborne defends Evening Standard editor job


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