George Osborne’s career looked finished after Britain voted for Brexit, all the more so when it emerged that his parliamentary seat of Tatton would be abolished in the boundary review. But the former Chancellor has now found himself a safe seat – the editor’s chair at the Evening Standard.
Mr Osborne is expected to take up the new role in May, while keeping his seat in Parliament. He will have to balance his time carefully in order to fit in his other jobs: advising the investment manager Blackrock, chairing the Northern Powerhouse project, working as a Kissinger fellow at the McCain Institute and his speaking on the after-dinner circuit. His bulging portfolio has led to calls for him to stand down as MP for Tatton. One Tory minister told the Telegraph: “I doubt there is a single MP in any party who thinks it is acceptable. It’s power-crazed.”
The former Chancellor’s break into journalism will give him considerably more influence than he would have as just a humble, albeit famous, backbencher. Alexander Larman suggests that he will have the ideal way of exacting revenge on his political foes, writing: “He has become a potentially lethal force to be reckoned with for his one-time Cabinet colleagues”. Tim Stanley thinks that he is slowly building a powerbase for cosmopolitan Remainers, but isn’t phased by his ambition. “Speaking as a Brexiteer, I’m all for Osborne becoming the face of Remain,” he concludes. “We beat him before. We’ll beat him again.”
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