All the big jobs George Osborne thinks he can do at the same time

Not giving up the (other) day job: George Osborne (REX/Shutterstock)
Not giving up the (other) day job: George Osborne (REX/Shutterstock)

George Osborne’s appointment as Editor of London’s Evening Standard newspaper has come as a massive shock to many.

The MP for Tatton and former Chancellor will succeed Sarah Sands in May – but he denies there will be any conflict of interest arising from his new role.

He said: “I am proud to be a Conservative MP, but as editor and leader of a team of dedicated and independent journalists, our only interest will be to give a voice to all Londoners.

“I will remain in Parliament, where that future is debated. I was elected by my constituents in Tatton to serve them and I intend to fulfil that promise.”

Oxford graduate Osbourne, 45, has long been criticised for his willingness to take on additional jobs alongside his responsibilities as MP for his Cheshire constituency.

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These include a contract with U.S. fund management firm BlackRock, for which he will receive £650,000 a year for working just one day a week.

A sideline in speeches has also earned Osbourne around £800,000 over the last six months, while he receives a tidy £44,000 each year from Osborne & Little, his family’s wallpaper business.

All of this helps top up his £75,000 MP’s salary – and now he has his new Editor income to boost the coffers still further.

As many commentators and outraged Twitter-users have been quick to point out, Osbourne’s background in journalism is somewhat limited.

The conflict of interests his new role presents hasn’t gone down well either.

After several failed attempts to break into a career in the media – he was rejected from The Times trainee scheme back in 1993, and also failed to impress during an interview for a job at The Economist – Osborne eventually secured a freelance gig at The Daily Telegraph, penning the paper’s Peterborough diary column.

A tip off from a pal took him away from all that, however – he was told about a researcher vacancy at Conservative central office, and a career in politics soon followed. But now he plans to juggle both.

This isn’t the first time MPs have juggled the demands of their constituents with surprising side projects – though it could be argued that Nadine Dorries’ appearance on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, or George Galloway popping up in the Big Brother house didn’t represent quite the same conflict of interests.