Former Chancellor George Osborne is to become editor of the London Evening Standard newspaper, in a surprise move that has angered Labour MPs.

The Tory MP said he was “thrilled” to succeed Sarah Sands, who is leaving to edit the BBC’s Today programme.

Mr Osborne, who is to edit the paper four days a week, intends to stay on as MP for Tatton, in Cheshire.

But he is facing calls to quit politics altogether, with Jeremy Corbyn calling the appointment a “joke”.

The Labour leader said he wanted an immediate by-election in Tatton, the Cheshire seat which Mr Osborne has represented since 2001 and is due to be abolished at the next election.

“The appointment makes a mockery of the independence of the media,” Mr Corbyn said. “It takes multitasking to a new level and is an insult to the electors he is supposed to serve.”


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The Standard’s proprietor, Evgeny Lebedev, said Mr Osborne was “London through and through” and he was confident that the MP was “the right person to build on the fantastic legacy of Sarah Sands”.

“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,” tweeted Mr Lebedev.

The newspaper said Mr Osborne would work as editor an “average of four days a week” and its schedule would enable him to “continue to fulfil his other commitments, including as an MP; giving him the time to vote and contribute in Parliament in the afternoon after the paper has gone to print, and be in his constituency”.

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