AddThis SmartLayers

Osborne defends Standard appointment in letter to local newspaper

osbornenewNew London Evening Standard editor George Osborne has used his local newspaper to reassure constituents about his appointment.

The Tatton MP and former Chancellor, left, wrote an open letter, which has been published by the Knutsford Guardian, in which he made clear his intention to continue serving as an MP while editing the London daily.

His letter comes after Guardian editor Carla Flynn speculated that Mr Osborne’s new appointment would be the “final straw” for many of his constituents.

Carla said her paper had received an “increased number of letters” in recent months questioning his commitment to the constituency.

But, in the open letter, Mr Osborne wrote: “After all that you have read over the recent days about my new role as editor of the Evening Standard, I want to talk directly to you, my constituents.

“It is the greatest honour to be your Member of Parliament, elected by you to represent our community here in Cheshire and take part in the national debate about the great issues Britain faces.

“For sixteen years I have done that – thanks to your growing support at each election – and with your help we have achieved some major successes.”

Mr Osborne cited twice stopping the closure of an A&E department, getting a bypass built and improving direct rail services as examples of his success.

He added: “Now I have left Downing Street I want to continue to take part in the debate about the future direction of our country. No longer being Chancellor gives me time to do that in other ways – yes, in the Chamber of the House of Commons; but also as the editor of a major newspaper, the Evening Standard.

“There is a long tradition of politics and journalism mixing. One of the greatest newspaper editors ever, CP Scott, combined editing the Manchester Guardian with being an MP.

“In our age, politicians from Iain Macleod and Richard Crossman to, of course, Boris Johnson have combined the role of editor and Member of Parliament. Meanwhile the hard work in the constituency continues unaffected.”


You can follow all replies to this entry through the comments feed.
  • March 23, 2017 at 9:23 am

    While I did think his appointment was laughable for a number of reasons, I do feel there’s a lot of misplaced snobbery around his appointment from the journalism industry.

    I’ve dealt with high ranking staff at nationals who’re barely out of university and only got their jobs because (a) they can afford to live in London on a disgraceful wage because they’re moneyed and (b) because their families are well connected, many of them are mediocre at best or outright buffoons.

    HTFP itself has carried stories of people getting editor jobs of late who are only in their early 20s.

    Journalism – especially at the very top – hasn’t been a meritocracy for a very long time, certainly not in my career. I’ve lost count of the amount of talented local journalist who’ve only been able to go so far in their career before being cut off at the knees because they didn’t have the right contacts or couldn’t afford to intern, so instead of going to London they stayed in Manchester or wherever writing press releases for Mr Muscle.

    As Tyrion Lannister says in Game of Thrones: ‘If you’re looking for justice, you’ve come to the wrong place’.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(4)
  • March 23, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    I wonder what the staff on his local rag really think of it. Not much of example of working your way up is it?
    Somehow I don’t think there will be an opinion column in the Knutsford Guardian about it. Better to keep your local MP sweet.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(1)