George Osborne had a dig at former colleague Theresa May’s handling of Brexit on his first day as Evening Standard editor.
In an editorial, the London paper urged her to spell out her intentions if she really wanted a mandate for leaving the EU.
If you ask for a blank cheque, don’t be surprised if later it bounces, the editorial read.
Campaigning in the South West, Mrs May said: Can I wish George all the very best in his new (career). George did a great job for our party and for our country in his time as chancellor of the exchequer.
The former chancellor walked into the newspaper office at 7am saying it was a really important time when people are going to want straight facts.
He promised to report on the election campaign without fear or favour.
Critics have suggested that with Mr Osborne at the helm, the newspaper’s election coverage is likely to be highly biased towards the Conservatives.
On his first day in the office he said: It’s very exciting to be starting in the new job.
It’s a really important time in our country when people are going to want the straight facts, the informed analysis so they can make the really big decisions about this country’s future.
The Evening Standard is going to provide that and it is going to entertain along the way.
Now I’ve got to get in there – we’ve got a paper to get off stone so I better get started.
Mr Osborne’s arrival at the Standard offices was half an hour later than his predecessor’s typical start time.
Former editor Sarah Sands, who has joined the BBC, said in a 2014 interview she would be at her desking reading through the day’s papers by around 6.30am.
Mr Osborne’s appointment at the Evening Standard provoked accusations he was juggling too many roles.
He announced last month that he would not stand to retain the Tatton seat he has held since 2001 in the General Election, saying he was leaving Parliament for now.
Mr Osborne earns £640,000 a year for one day a week’s work as an adviser at fund manager BlackRock.
In the last year he has made £800,000 from 15 speaking engagements, including at City and Wall Street banks.
He also receives a £120,212 allowance as Kissinger fellow at the McCain Institute in Washington DC for a year and has an unpaid role as the chairman of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership.
His salary at the newspaper has not been disclosed.
Mr Osborne declined to answer whether he would step down from his other lucrative roles.
Former minister Esther McVey, who represented the Conservatives in Wirral West from 2010 until 2015, is due to stand in Mr Osborne’s seat in the election next month.