George Osborne named new London Evening Standard editor

Britons were stunned Friday after the country's former finance minister was announced as the new editor of the main newspaper covering the happenings in the U.K.'s capital. Osborne is a Conservative, but campaigned in favor Britain remaining in the European Union. His opponents accused him of scaremongering.

Osborne lost his role in the Conservative cabinet previous year after Theresa May became Prime Minister. He has occasionally criticized some of her rightwing initiatives, such as promoting schools that select pupils based on academic ability.

"I am proud to have an editor of such substance, who reinforces The Standard's standing and influence in London and and whose political viewpoint - socially liberal and economically pragmatic - closely matches that of many of our readers", proprietor Evgeny Lebedev said in a Tweet.

While the biggest question of all is likely to centre on a potential of conflict of interest scenario given Osborne's recent appointment to a £650,000 a year, 48 days per year role as an advisor to BlackRock, the world's biggest asset management firm.

Osborne indicated he would keep his job as a member of Parliament, together with a smattering of other advisory roles in private industry that are supplementing his income.

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.

Now he is to remain an MP for Tatton in Cheshire as he edits the newspaper four days a week.

Journalism veterans mocked his inexperience in their trade.

The appointment attracted criticism from some lawmakers and journalists.

"Mr Osborne hasn't even been a journalist", said Andrew Neil, who edited The Sunday Times for 11 years.

Mr Osborne also sold his second home in 2012 for an estimated around £800,000 when it looked as though changes to constituency boundaries might mean he lost his seat.

His student editing included stories on gambling, an essay on cannabis published on hemp paper, and a story he wrote himself on recruitment to Britain's MI5 security service.

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.

Prominent British politicians who have been turfed out of office tend to take jobs at global institutions like North Atlantic Treaty Organisation; retire to the House of Lords; or pursue wealth in the private sector.

  • Leroy Wright