GEORGE OSBORNE was greeted by an angry “unwelcome party” yesterday as he turned up at the Evening Standard to start his first day as the London newspaper’s editor.
Black-cab drivers shouted: “We’re coming for you” at the former chancellor, who they say lobbied for Uber, the firm that has undercut them via the so-called gig economy, while in government.
A line of white powder, apparently representing cocaine, had been laid out outside the offices in Kensington, west London, and a giant mock Standard front page with a headline reading: “George Osborne: Lowering London’s Standards” also greeted him.
Veteran Labour MP Dennis Skinner was barred from the Commons for a day in 2005 for repeating drug-taking claims about Mr Osborne in his pre-MP days made by former prostitute Natalie Rowe in a national newspaper.
Mr Osborne, who has no professional experience in journalism, promised he would ensure the paper informs and entertains.
But he refused to admit whether he planned to give up a string of lucrative roles including a £650,000-a-year job as adviser to US investment bank BlackRock. He is also receiving £120,000 as a fellow at the McCain Institute in Washington DC.
Mr Osborne has declared almost £1 million in speaking fees in the Parliamentary Register of Members’ Interests since he was removed from his role as chancellor last year. His salary at the Standard has not been disclosed.
The erstwhile Tatton MP announced that he would stand down from Parliament after Prime Minister Theresa May called the snap general election for June 8.