LONDON — Former Chancellor George Osborne will be paid thousands of pounds to speak at an event in Paris, France on his second day as editor of the London Evening Standard, according to a Sky News report.
Osborne, who is still a sitting MP, will reportedly attend the Hedge Fund Intelligence European Summit at a hotel in Paris on May 3, for which he will be paid “tens of thousands of pounds.”
Sources told Sky that Osborne is set to start work at the Evening Standard on May 2. The engagement in Paris has reportedly been pushed back to the late afternoon so that he can spend the morning at the Evening Standard’s offices.
The report is likely to raise further concerns as to how Osborne will juggle his editorship of the paper and numerous speaking engagements with his duties as an MP.
There has been a growing backlash against Osborne’s shock appointment as Standard editor two weeks ago.
The appointment of Osborn came as a shock in the media world because he has very little experience of journalism. After university, he tried and failed to get a place on the Times trainee scheme and was turned down by the Economist before freelancing for the Telegraph’s diary column, according to the Guardian. However, he quickly moved on to working for the Conservative Party.
Meanwhile, Osborne also makes £650,000 a year working one day a week for investment management giant BlackRock and has made hundreds of thousands of pounds more by speaking at financial institutions around the world since leaving government last year.
Transparency International, a nonprofit group that campaigns against corruption, said the move “smacks of greed and the accumulation of power.”
MPs have privately expressed doubt that Osborne could serve his constituents adequately while editing a daily paper, while a petition calling for him to “pick a job” also collected over 100,000 signatures.
Osborne’s Commons office has so far not provided comment.
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