Caroline Lucas: George Osborne must resign as MP

17 March 2017

* Caroline Lucas demands answers from Prime Minister over appointment of George Osborne as Evening Standard editor

* Lucas: “By taking this job George Osborne has shown contempt for his constituents.”

Caroline Lucas MP has called for George Osborne to resign as an MP saying his appointment as London Evening Standard editor raises questions about his ability to serve as an MP, and the paper’s impartiality.

Lucas said Osborne should at the least be stripped of his role as Privy Councillor, and asked the Prime Minister how she intends to make sure Osborne’s appointment does not result in Ministers having undue influence on the paper – and vice versa.

Four parliamentary questions tabled by Lucas [1] also demand to know how Theresa May will ensure Osborne does not misuse his position as an MP to gain stories, or use Parliament’s facilities for his editorial work.

Caroline Lucas MP, co-leader of the Green Party, said:

“Osborne's appointment as Editor of the Standard raises very serious questions about both his own ability to continue as an MP and the newspaper's impartiality. At the very least George Osborne should be stripped of his title as a Privy Councillor and barred from any secure briefings that the role gives him.

“The truth is that by taking this job George Osborne has shown contempt for his constituents. The only honourable thing would be to step down as an MP so he can concentrate on making money from City firms and learning how to do a job at the Standard that he's entirely unqualified for.”

Notes:

  1. Full text of Caroline Lucas’ Parliamentary Questions to the Prime Minister:
  • To ask the Prime Minister, what arrangements will be put in place by 10 Downing Street to ensure that the Editor of the London Evening Standard is not able to misuse his position as a member of the Privy Council to generate news stories based on confidential government briefings or advance notice of any prime ministerial decision to commit HM Armed Forces in enemy action; and if she will make a statement.
  • To ask the Prime Minister, what checks and balances will be put in place by 10 Downing Street to ensure that government ministers do not exert undue influence on the editorial policy of the London Evening Standard newspaper, and that the Editor of the Evening Standard does not exert undue influence on the policy positions of government ministers; and if she will make a statement.
  • To ask the Prime Minister, what arrangements will be put in place by 10 Downing Street to ensure that the Editor of the London Evening Standard newspaper is able to fully comply with three-line whips in relation to parliamentary debates and divisions; and if she will make a statement.
  • To ask the Prime Minister, what arrangements will be put in place by 10 Downing Street to ensure that the Editor of the London Evening Standard newspaper does not make inappropriate use of parliamentary estate premises and facilities when undertaking his editorial duties; and if she will make a statement.






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