- Former chancellor begins work as the new editor of the London Evening Standard.
- The Conservative MP has been paid in excess of £1,000,000 for speeches and advice by financial firms.
- London cabbies protest outside Standard offices over alleged ties to Uber.
- Osborne’s financial interests likely to come under scrutiny.
LONDON — Former Chancellor George Osborne on Tuesday began his first day as editor of the London Evening Standard.
His decision not to stand again as a Conservative MP in June has somewhat taken the sting out of the controversy surrounding his appointment.
However, while he may soon no longer be splitting his time between Parliament, his constituency, and the Standard offices, a number of other potential conflicts remain.
Not least of these are his extensive financial interests in London’s financial district and beyond.
Osborne took the job at the Standard before first receiving advice from Parliament’s Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, which looks at work taken on by former ministers.
However, analysis of Osborne’s register of interest reveals that since leaving government, last year he has earned in excess of £1,000,000 from speeches, advisory roles and donations in kind, from major financial firms and other international organisations.
These payments are now likely to come under scrutiny in the coming months and years as the newspaper covers issues affecting some of the firms Osborne has financial links to.
Conflicts of interest
For instance, on Tuesday London taxi drivers plan to highlight just one of these potential conflicts, as they protest outside the Standard offices, over what they see as the former chancellor’s links to companies with interests in Uber.
Osborne has started a standing consultancy with the investment company BlackRock which has also invested millions in Uber.
Before taking on the job, the former chancellor was accused of lobbying former mayor Boris Johnson against proposed new regulations to private hire vehicles in London.
Proposals by Transport for London to implement mandatory waiting times for booking Uber cars did not go ahead.
These issues and others are likely to keep on cropping up over the coming months and years given the range of interests Osborne has acquired.
Let’s go through them one by one.
Since last summer Osborne has earned:
- £69,992 from The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) in Washington US, in return for a speech. Travel and accommodation was also provided. (Registered 25 October 2016)
- £28,454.40 for a speech on 17 October 2016 from the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, USA. Accommodation was also provided. (Registered 26 October 2016)
- Payments of £81,174 and £60,578 from JP Morgan, New York, USA, for giving two speeches, on 4 and 5 October 2016. Travel and accommodation was also provided. (Registered 02 November 2016)
- £80,240.16 expected from Palmex Derivatives, London for a speech in New York on 27 October 2016. Travel and accommodation also provided. (Registered 16 November 2016)
- £85,396.24 from Citi, London, for giving two speeches on 17 November 2016. Transport also provided. (Registered 28 November 2016)
- £34,109.14 from BlackRock Financial Inc, New York, for giving a speech on 15 November 2016. Travel and accommodation was also provided. (Registered 28 November 2016)]
- £68,125.35 from Centerbridge Partners LP, New York, for giving a speech on 10 November 2016. Travel and accommodation was also provided. (Registered 28 November 2016)
- £51,328.50 Aberdeen Asset Management, London, for giving a speech on 22 November 2016. Travel was also provided. (Registered 15 December 2016)
- £68,493.15 from ITP Publishing Ltd, Dubai, UAE, for giving a speech on 28 November 2016. Flights, accommodation and transfers was also provided. (Registered 15 December 2016)
- £51,829.26 expected from HSBC, London, for giving a speech on 18 January 2017. Accommodation and travel was also provided. Hours: 2 hrs. (Registered 06 February 2017)
- £40,567 from St James’s Wealth Management, Cirencester, UK, for giving a speech on 27 January 2017.(Registered 06 February 2017)
- £51,082 expected from VOKA (Flanders Chamber of Commerce and Industry) Belgium, for giving a speech on 7 February 2017. (Registered 23 February 2017)
- £15,081 expected from Lloyds Bank International Ltd, London, for giving a speech on 6 February 2017. This fee was donated to charity. (Registered 23 February 2017)
- £51,842 from People FZ LLC, Abu Dhabi, UAE, for a speech to the New York University, Abu Dhabi on 4 March 2017. (Registered 24 March 2017)
- £51,754 expected from The Magyar Nemzeti Bank (the Hungarian Central Bank), Hungary, for giving two speeches, on 1 and 2 March 2017. (Registered 24 March 2017)
- £51,540 expected from Insight Investment, London, for giving a speech on 17 March 2017. (Registered 10 April 2017)
- £162,500 a quarter, plus equity, from 1 February 2017 as the adviser on the global economy to The Blackrock Investment Institute, London
- £120,212 from the the McCain Institute, Washington DC for a two year Kissinger Fellowship, starting from January 2017. (Registered 23 February 2017)
- Continued shares in Osborne and Little Group Ltd, a family business manufacturing and retailing fabrics and wallpapers.
Donations and free trips in kind.
- Donation valued at £8,023.08 from Countywide Developments Ltd, for helicopter and car transport to Ripon North Conservatives’ Summer Reception for Osborne and a member of staff. (Registered 11 August 2016)
- Donation valued at £6,829.55 from Chicago Council on Global Affairs for flights, hotel and transfers to Chicago speak at the Louis B Susman Distinguished Lecture on Transatlantic Relations. (Registered 13 October 2016)
- Donation valued at £4,753.62 from Weekend with Charlie Rose (TB Group Inc), New York, for flights and accommodation to an international conference. (Registered 13 October 2016)
- Donation valued at £4,086.65 from Michael R Bloomberg for travel, accommodation and dinner for Osborne and his wife in Paris, France, with Bloomberg. (Registered 04 November 2016)
- Donation valued at £700 from Franco-British Colloque for a visit to Versailles, France. (Registered 06 February 2017)
- Donation valued at £6,454 from the American Enterprise Institute, Washington DC, for flights and transfers to the AEI World Forum conference. (Registered 03 April 2017)
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