Osborne appointed as Evening Standard editor

Ex-Chancellor, George Osborne has been appointed as the new editor of the London Evening Standard starting from May, its owner Evgeny Lebedev has confirmed

Osborne will take up his new role as editor in May, while still keeping his seat in Parliament.

He will succeed Sarah Sands who takes over as the editor of BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme in early May.

Osborne said: ‘This is such an exciting and challenging job and I’m thrilled to take it on. The Evening Standard is a great paper, testimony to the hard work of Sarah Sands and the impressive team, and to the investment of its owners. I look forward to working with, learning from and leading this team of dedicated professionals.

‘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. We will be fearless as a paper fighting for their interests. We will judge what the government, London’s politicians and the political parties do against this simple test: is it good for our readers and good for London? If it is, we’ll support them. If it isn’t, we’ll be quick to say so.

‘So much is now at stake about the future of our country and its capital city. 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. I remain passionate about the Northern Powerhouse and will continue to promote that cause. Right from the first speech I gave about the North of England, I’ve said that London needs a successful north and the north benefits from its links to a global city like London. It’s not a zero-sum game, but quite the opposite.’

Evgeny Lebedev said: ‘In George, we have appointed someone of huge political achievement, and economic and cultural authority. Once he put himself forward for the position, he was the obvious choice. I am proud to have an editor of such substance, who reinforces the Evening Standard’s standing and influence in London and whose political viewpoint - liberal on social issues and pragmatic on economic ones - closely matches those of many of our readers.

In 1993, Osborne was shortlisted for but failed to gain a place on The Times trainee scheme. He also applied to The Economist where he was interviewed and rejected by Gideon Rachman. He resorted to freelance work on the Peterborough diary column of The Daily Telegraph.

Last week it was reported that Osborne is set to earn £650,000 a year from working only four days a month at BlackRock where he is a part-time senior adviser.

Osborne is currently the highest earning MP.

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