Petition calls on Tatton MP George Osborne to 'pick one job'

Pauline Gross
March 20, 2017

George Osborne has said Parliament is "enhanced" by having MPs with "different experiences" as he defended his new job as Evening Standard editor.

Labour this afternoon secured an urgent question over Mr Osborne's appointment, amid bemusement at how he can combine the demanding job with his role as MP for Tatton in Cheshire.

The former chancellor submitted his appointment to Acoba on 13 March, but the move was announced before the committee responded.

He said: "Is it not the case that we believe in a free press and that proprietors should have the right to appoint who they like to be editor, without the executive or anyone else interfering with that decision?"

"But I will listen to what my colleagues have to say in this debate".

Mr Osborne told MPs: "When I heard that this urgent question had been granted I thought it was important to be here, although unfortunately we have missed the deadline for the Evening Standard".

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He claimed holding "several" jobs outside Parliament was "impossible to defend".

Mr Gummer added: "Until this advice is made public, it is a confidential process between the committee and (Mr Osborne), although no doubt a matter of significant interest to this House". We had something that up to a degree worked.

The SNP's Roger Mullin (Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath) said: "You can not get off treating this House and the people as a load of gowks, as we would say in Scotland".

Labour's Andrew Gwynne described Mr Osborne's appointment as a "matter for great concern" that "does a disservice" to other MPs.

Martin Bell, a former BBC war correspondent who won the seat of Tatton as an independent politician in 1997, told Julia Hartley-Brewer that Osborne is spurning the needs of his constituents by taking a job in journalism - alongside his one-day-a-week post with United States fund manager BlackRock.

But Osborne also received comments of support from fellow Tory MPs.

Gove is a former journalist who himself has been tipped as a potential future newspaper editor himself.

Other reports by GizPress

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