George Osbourne, the former Chancellor
Nicky Morgan, ex-education secretary has defended George Osborne’s new role as Editor of the Evening Standard. She said Cabinet Minister’s fired by PM will have their “voices heard.”
The governments watchdog on ethical standards make the rules on MPs taking second jobs. They will meet this Thursday on George Osborne’s new role. George Osborne will face criticism from the Cabinet Office for not seeking approval before accepting the new role as Editor.
However, Nicky Morgan said: “we’re going to have to stop MPs being ministers,” if the Committee on Standards in Public is to ban MPs having jobs outside of being an MP.
Mrs Morgan said Osborne has been “a very good constituency MP while he was chancellor.” she described his new role as “the ultimate second job”, adding: “We want talented, interesting people to take on these big jobs.”
Mrs Morgan said on ITV’s Robert Peston show: “George is very much about being the voice of the liberal Conservative party. When you’re fired as we all were last summer, what did they expect, the government? That we all just going to disappear?
“No, we are going to make our voices heard, whether it’s me writing articles, whether it’s George being editor of the Evening Standard.
“There’s a liberal Conservatism point of view to be talked about and we’re going to do that.”
Here are further comments on Mr Osborne’s new appointment:
Ruth Davidson’s comments on Andrew Marr’s show were quite interesting, she said: “I thought well ‘he’s a better man than me’ – because I spent 10 years as a journalist and six years as a politician and I’m not sure I could combine them both. So, I’m not sure you can do both at the same time, if I’m honest.”
Tony Blair said on BBC’s Andrew Marr show: “I don’t know whether having those jobs is doable or not, but I think it is a great thing for the Evening Standard. Why not? He is a highly capable guy and it should make politics more interesting.”
Nick Clegg said the BBC’s Sunday Politics: he’d not spoken to Mr Osborne about his new role, but warned “he’s taking a lot on”.
“He’s not only wanting to be an editor, he wants to continue being an MP in the north of England, to be a jet-setting academic in the United States, to earn a lot of money in the city… I suspect something will give.
“Even by George Osborne’s self-confident standards in his own abilities, I suspect he’s taking on a little too much.” Mr Clegg also writes a column for the Evening Standard.
Stephen Kinnock, Labour MP said on ITV’s Robert Peston Show: “When I first read this I thought it was fake news and sort of choked on my cornflakes.
“I think it’s completely unsustainable. One of the worrying things is: ‘will the Evening Standard become the propaganda arm of the Conservative Party?’ Conflicts of interest all over the place.”
Stephen Hammond, Conservative MP said he is: “an extremely talented individual”.
“I think it is a surprise to a lot of people, but against that, we in London need as many people in London to stand up for us as we can, and I think George will ensure that’s true.”