Originally published 22 March 2017.
Former Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood has signed the national petition calling on the Conservative MP for Tatton, former Chancellor George Osborne, to resign following his appointment as editor of the London Evening Standard.
The petition on campaign website 38degrees now has 189,000 signatures. The website highlights the impossibility of Mr Osborne doing a proper job for his constituents as well as that of editor of a major newspaper. It also points out the inevitable conflcits of interest.
'I always found being Member of Parliament was more than a full-time job and I certainly won't take a second one if I'm elected as MP for Cheltenham again in the future. Some of George Osborne's appointments - such as chairman of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership which he championed as Chancellor, don't seem that inappropriate,' commented Martin 'but taking a one-day a week job advising an American fund management firm and then taking the editorship of a major newspaper as well is just taking the mickey. If I was one of his constituents I'd want my money back.'
Mr Osborne is reputed to be earning £650,000 for the one day a week job with fund managers Blackrock.
'MPs earn a good enough salary at £75,000 a year', added Martin. 'I know my successor as MP for Cheltenham has earned nearly £4,000 on top of that as a London barrister since being elected in 2015. I understand he wants to keep his hand in. But that's small beer in comparison to the sums George Osborne expects to rake in when he should be representing his constituents. It's simple, old-fashioned greed and he should resign. And in any case, how he can possibly be an independent editor, holding ministers to account, while taking the government whip in the Commons?'
NOTES FOR EDITORS
- The 38degrees petition can be seen at https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/george-osborne-pick-a-job
- Alex Chalk MP's outside earnings are declared in the Register of Member's Interests which can be seen on theyworkforyou.com at https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/25340/alex_chalk/cheltenham. Earnings marked "0 hours since election" are discounted from the £3,941 total earned since the election.