In surprise, United Kingdom ex-finance minister Osborne named editor of London paper

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On Saturday, former Downing Street advisor Rohan Silva told BBC Radio 4 Mr Osborne applied for the role after being asked for advice from friends hoping to the apply for the editorship position.

He will reportedly start his new role at the capital's newspaper in mid-May, editing the paper an average of four days a week. "Well, George Osborne is a very clever man - I am sure he could do anything he puts his mind to" she said.

Angus Reilly, chairman of the Tatton Constituency Labour Party, said Mr Osborne should not continue as an MP.

Following the recent reduction in the Evening Standard's print editions, Osborne apparently believes he can edit the newspaper in the morning and attend parliament and do his collection of other jobs and lucrative speaking engagements in the afternoons and evenings, much to the disbelief and private derision of the paper's journalists, a source said.

Mr Osborne has also declared he is earning an annual salary of £650,000 to advise investment firm BlackRock - a role which only requires 48 days' work a year.

The Evening Standard has a circulation of nearly 850,000 a day.While the ongoing brouhaha among the chattering classes about his appointment has focused on numerous "gasp" worthy aspects of the appointment, it has largely ignored one: what the reactions say about how the British media - and society at large - looks at men as opposed to women. "If it is, we'll support them; if it isn't we'll be quick to say so", Osborne said. The freesheet's Russian owner Evgeny Lebedev said Osborne was someone of "huge political achievement, and economic and cultural authority".

"I am proud to have an editor of such substance, who reinforces The Standard's standing and influence in London and whose political viewpoint - socially liberal and economically pragmatic - closely matches that of many of our readers", Lebedev said.

"It's no different to [now Foreign Secretary] Boris Johnson being the editor of The Spectator for years as a member of parliament", Philip Merry, a Tory from the Wirral told IBTimes UK.

However, Osborne is already facing calls to quit politics altogether, with Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn calling the appointment a "joke". "Are you sure it isn't?"

"I am proud to be a Conservative MP, but as editor and leader of a team of dedicated and independent journalists, our only interest will be to give a voice to all Londoners", he added, admitting that he may have run a country, but has never run a newspaper. "He can not stay on as an MP, it's absolutely disgraceful". "I think George will fit quite nicely into that as a backbench MP", he said.

Meanwhile The Guardian described the politician as the county's "most celebrated trainee journalist" as it welcomed him to the industry.

Osborne has limited journalistic experience.

"When made Editor of The Sunday Times I was criticized because I hadn't been an editor".

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