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Former British Finance Minister Leads the Evening Standard | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Former Chancellor George Osborne arrives at the Evening
Standard offices to formally take up the role of editor of the
newspaper in London. Photo: Reuters

London- The first day in any new post must be full of stress and challenges. Yet, it is more challenging for a politician who has to spend his days in a news environment after experiencing parliamentary sessions and budgets for the British treasury.

After the surprising announcement last month of being appointed an editor of the daily Evening Standard in London, George Osborne, the former British finance minister began his new carrier as a journalist.

He had promised his staff to handle his duties at 7 am, but was delayed by a crowd of journalists and photographers who were waiting for him outside the newspaper’s headquarters in Kensington Street, west of London.

Osborne left the government last year, after partaking in a fruitless campaign to maintain his country’s membership in the EU. He also decided not to run for the general elections on June 8.

Osborne, who was once seen as the upcoming leader of the ruling conservative party, opposes some of PM Theresa May’s policies. He said he hopes the Evening Standard would become a dauntless newspaper.

“I’m thrilled on my first day of work in the Evening Standard, and promise you to publish facts and analyses with no fear,” he tweeted.

Commenting on the new post, veteran journalists have mocked Osborne’s lack of editorial experience and potential conflicts of interest.

The Sun newspaper asked “Is George Osborne a qualified journalist?”, pointing to his humble experience in journalism. It also noted that The Times and The Economist had snubbed him after he applied for work there. He then worked as a freelance journalist at The Telegraph.

In an article published by The Guardian, the newspaper imagined the approach that will be adopted by the Evening Standard under the lead of the conservative party, and expected its analyses to tend towards the right-wing.

However, Osborne surprised the audience in the first editorial with an analysis that criticizes May’s policies and her decision to organize early elections. The newspaper warned May from the failure of her Brexit negotiations with Brussels and said: “When someone signs a bounce check, the failure of the banking process would not be a surprise.”

The newspaper slammed inflation caused by the Brexit, and asserted that the Brits do not want their country to be sized because of the PM’s clumsy policies. It also called on the ruling party to commit to the people’s will in the Brexit negotiations, in case they made it in the upcoming elections.

The former finance minister already had a job with a salary of 650,000 pounds ($837,000) a year for working 48 days at BlackRock, and has earned hundreds of thousands of pounds giving speeches.

While at the University of Oxford, Osborne dabbled in student journalism and was proud enough of his efforts to display the two issues of the magazine he edited in his Downing Street flat while chancellor.