Tony Blair says George Osborne’s Evening Standard editorship will make politics 'more interesting'

Laura Hughes
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair  - AFP or licensors

Tony Blair has praised the appointment of George Osborne as Editor of the London Evening Standard as he said it would make politics "more interesting." 

The former Labour prime minister, who has taken up a number of jobs since leaving Parliament, said  the former Tory Chancellor was a "highly capable guy." 

His comments will increase concerns in Downing Street that Mr Osborne is plotting to use his new role to undermine Theresa May's plans for a clean Brexit by establishing a "new power base" at the newspaper. 

George Osborne has been announced as the new editor of the Evening Standard. Credit: Evening Standard / eyevine/Lucy Young

Leading figures from the Remain campaign have been accused of seeking to establish a new platform to campaign against Mrs May's plans to leave the Single Market.

Mr Blair, the former Labour Prime Minister, vowed to fight "frightening authoritarian populism" last week as he launched a new think tank which aims to frustrate Mrs May's plans for Brexit.

Asked about Mr Osborne's new editorship, Mr Blair told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: "I think its a great thing for the Evening Standard. Why not? 

"He's a highly capable guy and it should make politics more interesting." 

In a direct warning to Mrs May, Mr Osborne said that the newspaper would be "fearless" confronting the Government if it fails to represent the interests of Londoners."If it isn't, we'll be quick to say so," he said.

A senior Government source told The Daily Telegraph: "It's all about establishing a power base. He lost the argument last year in the referendum, he lost influence in Parliament.

George Osborne | His six jobs

The Sunday Telegraph revealed today that Parliament’s sleaze watchdog will consider banning MPs taking second jobs next month.

MPs on the parliamentary Committee on Standards will demand the rules are tightened after a backlash over Mr Osborne’s new role. 

Mr Osborne now has six jobs - editing the Evening Standard, advising the financial giant BlackRock, doing after dinner speeches, completing a fellowship in America, chairing the Northern Powerhouse Partnership and being MP for Tatton.