Former chancellor George Osborne has HOW many jobs?

Lewis Goodall, Political Correspondent

If John Prescott was "two jags" then George Osborne, who is taking over as editor of the Evening Standard, is surely destined to be "six jobs".

When he was Chancellor, he often wondered whether Britain had a productivity problem; he seems determined to correct it single-handedly.

Let's take his jobs in turn:

:: He's a speaker at the Washington Speaker's Bureau, where he has a lucrative contract to perform after-dinner speeches around the world

:: He's a chairman of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership (not an obvious position for the editor of London's biggest newspaper)

:: He's an advisor to the American fund management firm Blackrock. He's thought to be paid £650,000 a year (yes, you read that right) for working one day a week for the company (yes, you read that right as well)

:: He's a fellow at the McCain Institute, an American think tank

:: He will be (as of mid-May) the editor of London's Evening Standard newspaper

:: And oh yes ... he's (still) the MP for Tatton (a salary of £75,000 a year plus expenses).

Having other jobs alongside being an MP is not especially unusual. Plenty of MPs do it, but few have quite so many and none can now rival Mr Osborne in terms of outside earnings.

It is also unprecedented in the modern era for a newspaper editor to be a sitting MP.

:: Osborne criticised over Evening Standard role

The worlds of politics and journalism are uneasy bedfellows at the best of times.

Usually MPs turn from poacher to gamekeeper and leave Parliament if they become newspaper editors. For example, Bill Deedes became editor of the Telegraph in 1974 after leaving the House of Commons.

You have to go all the way back to the 19th century to find one who combined both roles as CP Scott who edited the (Manchester) Guardian whilst sitting as a Liberal MP.

There are many potential conflicts of interest, both personal and political.

For Mr. Osborne's critics, the question will arise of how, with so many other hats, it will be possible for him to discharge his duties effectively as an MP, not only in terms of time but also in terms of voting without prejudice.

For example, how will he now vote on press regulation? And if a vote takes place on transport funding, for whom does the ex-Chancellor speak? His northern Cheshire constituents or Londoners for whom he promised today to "be their voice"?

And then there's the wider political problems. Is every article and editorial written against the Government viewed as a personal attack on Mr Osborne's erstwhile colleagues?

If the paper takes a line does he vote accordingly or - if there's a whip - with his Government?

The rune readers of Westminster will try and divine Mr Osborne's intentions. Does this mean he's through with politics? But if that were the case why not simply resign his seat and make his life much easier?

But given his constituency is about to be abolished in a forthcoming boundary review, becoming the editor of a London newspaper is hardly likely to endear him to the selection panel of a new Cheshire constituency.

Tantalisingly perhaps, Mr. Osborne, considered by many Tories to be Remainer-in-Chief, is looking to build a new powerbase in the equally Remainery capital.

The London mayoral election is, after all, only three years away...

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