Controversy continues after George Osborne is named Standard editor

Incoming: George Osborne in the Evening Standard newsroom: Lucy Young

Controversy continued today over the appointment of George Osborne as next editor of the Evening Standard.

Campaigners against a “hard Brexit” welcomed the former chancellor’s new role, saying he could champion London’s interests in the vital EU debate.

However, critics questioned how Mr Osborne could balance his new duties with being a Member of Parliament for Tatton, Cheshire.

Roland Rudd, founder of PR firm Finsbury, said: “I think it’s an inspired choice. It’s excellent he is against a hard, destructive Brexit which will adversely affect London.”

Tory former minister Claire Perry said Mr Osborne was “incredibly talented”.

She told BBC Radio 4: “Anyone who raises reasonable points about what does the shape of the Brexit deal look like gets howled down in the media. So having him at the helm of a very successful daily could be very, very interesting for the debate.”

Former PM Tony Blair told the Marr show: “I think it is a great thing for the Evening Standard. He is a highly capable guy and it should make politics more interesting.”

But Stephen Hester, former chief executive of bailed-out bank RBS, who reportedly resigned after pressure from Mr Osborne, told the Westminster Hour: “My shareholders would have a revolt and I would have to step down immediately if I was to take another full-time job.”

Lord Bew, chairman of the Committee of Standards in Public Life, said his committee will “look again” at changing the rules on MPs taking second jobs.

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