George Osborne’s appointment as editor of London’s Evening Standard will be the “final straw” for many of his constituents, the editor of his local newspaper has said.
Knutsford Guardian editor Carla Flynn, left, says the paper has received an “increased number of letters” in recent months questioning Mr Osborne’s commitment to his parliamentary constituency of Tatton, Cheshire.
The former Chancellor, whose journalism experience amounts to a few months writing for the Daily Telegraph’s Peterborough diary in 1993, was appointed to the top job at the Evening Standard on Friday.
Doubts have since been voiced about his ability to remaining as a sitting MP while editing the paper.
Of Mr Osborne’s appointment, Carla said: “When the news broke I had to check the date to make sure it wasn’t 1 April.
“The announcement that George was to work four days a month for BlackRock and earn £650,000k for doing so took a lot of his constituents by surprise, but this is a huge shock.
“Since he lost his position of Chancellor, constituents thought they would be seeing more of their MP but that hasn’t been the case and we’ve received an increasing number of letters questioning George’s commitment to Tatton.
“Given the huge reaction we’ve already had from readers since the news broke I think this will be the final straw for a lot of constituents.”
Reaction to Mr Osborne’s appointment has continued to pour in from the regional press.
In an open letter offering him advice on his new role Phil Creighton, editor of The Wokingham Paper, said there is there is “so much more to local journalism than turning up the Standard’s offices to sign off the front page and listen to the news conference.”
“You’ll be in the Commons listening to a debate about EU regulations on the correct pronunciation of scones while simultaneously be wanting to bash out a vital leader column on something more pressing,” added Phil.
“You see George, being a newspaper editor isn’t a morning-only commitment. It isn’t a nine-to-five role either. It isn’t even a job. It’s a life.”
“You have to be part of the community you serve, listen to readers so you can make sound judgements, and see the paper (and its website) through to publication. It’s more than a full-time job – and surely the same applies to being an MP.
“So good luck to Mr Osborne fitting in both jobs on top of earning £13,000 a day as an adviser to BlackRock, the world’s biggest asset management firm. I’m sure he’ll be good at cutting costs at least.
“In the meantime, as an editor with 20 years’ experience, and with a CSE Grade 1 maths to my name, I’d like to apply to be Chancellor. After all, Philip Hammond’s making a right pig’s ear of it.”